Should we acknowledge Cheerleading as a sport?

Cheerleading athletes around the UK gather each year to compete at the ICC British Open in a bid to win prizes as well as opportunities to secure funding to travel to America to compete in the annual Cheerleading Worlds. 

However, due to the minimal amount of attention the sport receives in the UK, individuals are insufficiently educated about cheerleading. With various stereotypes and insecurities associated with the sport, it’s widely accepted cheerleading is used as encouragement for a team, rather than as a competitive sport. 

Thousands of athletes gather for the two-day cheerleading competition 

According to Statista in 2018, there are approximately 22,000 people participating in competitive cheerleading in the UK. With that in mind, you’d think that people would have started to class it as a sport, yet it’s still failing to receive the recognition it deserves.

Clare Bowers, Unity All Stars Ruby athlete, said: “The lack of education between side-line cheer compare to competitive Cheerleading is bizarre.

“We tumble like gymnasts, and lift, catch and throw athletes in the air with demands of extreme strength and incredible stamina.

“We push our bodies to the absolute maximum, yet we still don’t receive the appreciation we deserve, as other sports would.”

Unity All Stars Black were one of the fortunate teams over the weekend to secure funding to allow them to compete the Cheerleading Worlds held in April 2019

Thousands of spectators gather at the ICC British Open, not only to participate, but to watch their favourite teams across the UK compete their routines. 

Mollie Small, Oblivion All Stars athlete, said: “We are elite athletes also it is soon to be within the Olympics, and I believe that once it is people may start to respect cheerleading as a sport.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the ICC British Open click here


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