For years, I have repetitively been faced with the same simple question: “Do you get mad when people say that cheerleading isn’t a sport?”
If you haven’t noticed from past posts, yes- I am a cheerleader. The inaccurate stereotype forever trails behind me like its attached by a string. Preppy? If wearing bright colors, the occasional polo shirt, and love for coffee makes me preppy, then I could be classified as preppy. Peppy? If loving to smile, laugh, and be happy makes me peppy, then I could be classified as that as well. But as for the more negative sides of the stereotype (stupidity, rudeness, lack of athleticism, etc.) I would not classify myself, or any of my teammates as those things. In fact, every year my cheerleading program is filled with the 50 most genuine and overall beautiful people out there. But the stereotype- that is what is constantly inferred of us, and we strive every day to change these blind interpretations. It is mind blowing, and slightly offensive,The amount of times I meet someone new and spark a conversation with them, then they follow up the chat with “Wow, you are a lot nicer than I expected.” Just imagine automatically being defined so negatively to someone you’ve never spoken to before just because they hear the word “cheerleader.”
You probably expected this blog to be a rant on why cheerleading a sport and why we require major athleticism, but I am writing to do quite the opposite. So, back to the personally infamous question: Do I get mad when people say that cheerleading isn’t a sport? Your answer, ladies and gents: no- not the slightest bit. From youth ages, to middle school, to high school, I didn’t continue on with the title “cheerleader” because I thought it was a sport. Just as soccer players don’t try out for soccer because it is defined as a sport. I, like soccer or any other school sport, am a part of this because that’s what I truly love to do. This upcoming season is my first season under the Friday night lights as a varsity cheerleader, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. A perfect scene set with stadium lights, the crazily fun student section, the fight song blaring from the band’s section, and the triumph of team 54- that’s my happiness.
So that is my answer. My happiness and love for being a cheerleader drowns out whether anyone believes it is a sport or not. Stereotypes and all, I am a cheerleader for Mason High School. And I couldn’t be more proud.