An essay that got me first place in a writing contest done by my school.
| The secrets of the cheerleading world
The sound of the roaring crowd, the feeling of your heart pounding out of your chest, the lights memorizing as you take your first step on the blue competition mats. But cheerleading isn't what most people think about instead there's the major risks of injuries, the fierce competition between teams and the constant debate on if cheerleading is even a sport.
During the season of cheerleading which runs of the months of: August to March on a school team and all-star team you have life threatening practices usually twice a week or more where you will train hard in strength, cardio, tumbling, stunting, dances and cheers. That feeling that sparks through your body as you run fast down the tumbling mat to throw your perfect pass, the one that you have been working so hard on. You throw body in the air completing a double lay out twist and as you finish the last double twist you land it without falling, your team mates cheer and applause you as you have come to the realization you finally did it! Or when you're flying high in the air with a toe touch basket toss, your basses through you at least two stories high in the air and you ride it tight with an excellent snap and a turned out toe touch. Feelings like these make everything worthwhile. But of course there are many dangers to cheerleading as for it is the most dangerous sport compared to any other sport. High school cheerleading accounted for more than 65.1 % of all catastrophic sports injuries among women in over the last past 25 years.
In the cheerleading world there are two kinds of cheerleaders: the ones that only cheer on a high school team which is somewhat competitive but not compared to all-star team which ranges from the highest skills in tumbling and stunting. With being on a school team you have the opportunity (if your school is competing) to provincials or nationals where you get the chance to compete against other schools in other provinces or cities to show in the two minutes and thirty seconds you have on the mats to show that you are the top team, while in all-star teams you get the chance to show case your talents as one and as the team you've grown up with at worlds which is held in Orlando, Florida. This is the biggest competition between teams and the energy flowing through the building is not like anything anyone has felt before, winning first at worlds gives you the ultimate bragging rights and you get a pretty worlds ring. How would want a ring?
For many years there have been many debates on if cheerleading is actually a sport. Some of the topics have been: cheerleaders don't have a ball that they need to get to the other end to score points, they left other girls in short skirts and look pretty. But as of 1999 cheerleading was declared a sport and was considered more dangerous then football or mma. If you only had two minutes and thirty seconds to get through a stunting sequence, jump sequence, dance and cheer with hitting every movement with being tight and clean. Throwing up girls in the air with just the strength or two basses and a back spot, hitting jumps that are high and tight, throwing the perfect tumbling pass and yelling out the cheer you have worked on to yell at the crowd to say " we're the best team here and no one can stop us." Do you think cheerleading still isn't a sport?
Cheerleading isn't just a sport but a life style to many, even with such a huge risk of injury and even though you almost break your neck and suffered an concussion during just one performance you would do it all over again because that feeling you get when you step out on those blue mats with a team you trust to catch you when you fall, the crowd when they cheer your name and the energizing buzz that shoots through your body when you and your team have just nailed the routine that pushed you to your limits, made your cry in frustration, but grew you closer to everyone that you call your cheer family.