Competitive Cheerleading

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Intro:

Cheerleading is not only the activity of performing as a cheerleader at a sports event to support another sport, but to compete and perform for ourselves. Competitive cheerleading consists of a voluminous and advanced routine. The routine must involve a dance, cheers, stunts, a tumbling section, and enormous amounts of energy. A team will compete in many competitions around the nation and if they are advanced enough, sometimes around the world. All-star cheerleaders are placed into divisions, which are grouped based upon age, size of the team, gender of participants, and ability level. The age levels vary from under 4 year of age to 18 years and over.

Dangers:

Of the United States' 2.9 million female high school athletes, only 3% are cheerleaders, yet cheerleading accounts for 65% of all catastrophic injuries in girls' high school athletics. The NCAA does not recognize cheerleading as a collegiate sport; there are no solid numbers on college cheerleading, yet when it comes to injuries, 67% of female athlete injuries at the college level are due to cheerleading mishaps. Another study found that between 1982 and 2007, there were 103 fatal, disabling or serious injuries recorded among female high school athletes, with the vast majority (67) occurring in cheerleading.

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