Cheerleading, a Sport?

Hillary Nguyen, Staff Writer

Is cheerleading a sport or just another hobby?

At Ontario High School, students in cheerleading will now be getting P.E. credits. Ontario’s competition squad is now considered a sport after a tedious process.

The origins of cheerleading stem back to November 2, 1898 at the University of Minnesota. Johnny Campbell, a medical student, created a chant to cheer up the crowd when his team was losing. Campbell’s rally caught wind in the news which then led people in the early 20th century to experiment with different routines. Competitive cheerleading routines include stunting, or lifting a flyer with 3-4 “bases,” tumbling and jumping. Each stunt also varies in difficulty. The modern cheerleading that we see now began after the end of WWII.

Cheerleading, like soccer, basketball and many other sports, is competitive and team-based. Ontario High School’s Assistant Principal, Dr. Gomez believes cheerleading is a sport.

“Having seen what they do in my years of being in the district, I absolutely do think [cheerleading] is [a sport].” Dr. Gomez also explains cheerleading takes time and commitment just like any other sport.

Not only is cheerleading the sport with the highest injury percentages and risks, but also has national competitions just like any other sport.

Part of the reason cheer students began receiving P.E. credits this year involve the discussion between schools regionally and nationwide on whether cheerleading is a sport.

Ontario’s administration had then began the process of approving cheer. The process included deciding whether cheerleading had met requirements such as the numbers of hours spent preparing for events, and seeing if cheer’s conditioning met with the CIF standards.

When (it was clear that) the requirements were met, Ontario High School’s administration proceeded to make a proposal to the district with Ontario’s Site Leadership. The Board then looked at the updated course requirements as well as took into account the proposal from OHS. The school board was then able to make the executive decision, which now grants cheerleading students P.E. credits. The Ontario High School Competition squad will compete in 5 competitions this year, including some at the national level.