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The GFORCE Guide to… Cheerleading

Added 09 Jan 2020 by GFORCE

You may or may not be forgiven for thinking that cheerleading is just about cheesy dance moves and pom poms, but we have news for you… it’s a serious sport with a mix of various gymnastic disciplines with a street dance twist. It’s fast paced with highly skilled participants who work as a team to conjure up amazing balancing acts, flipping, tossing and twirling moves!

But, where did the sport begin? Cheerleading originated in the United States as a way of both encouraging athletes while they were playing their sport and audiences to participate in the whole cheering process. It is believed that the first organised cheerleader was a Minnesota student called Johnny Campbell, who first directed a crowd in cheering at an American football match in 1898.

Soon after, more organised cheer squads consisting solely of males were established. It was not until the post-First World War period that women started to get involved and gymnastic and tumbling started to slowly be introduced. These days, it is estimated that 97 percent of cheerleading participants overall are female.

Cheerleading has developed greatly over the years with a number of people strongly believing it has the right to be considered a genuine sport in its own right – much like other artistic sports such as gymnastics, synchronised swimming, figure skating or diving where scores are awarded by judges.

Competitive Edge

The growth of Cheerleading has seen interest now spread around the globe, with participation in countries including the UK, Canada, Australia, China, France and Germany. There are frequent competitions which see cheerleading groups put to the test.

Cheerleading is also seen at a range of sports including football, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, baseball, and also Twenty20 Cricket.

In addition, with more schools adding cheerleading to their activities as a means of engaging their pupils in a fun yet great physical activity, the future for this emerging sport certainly looks bright!

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