Cheerleading is now accepted as a sport. But like all sport it too has its own dangers. Some arise from lack of good quality coaching and some arise from the way the sport is structured. These ravishing beauties have a long way from gentle dancing and making fancy announcements over the megaphone that drive the crowds into raptures. A gymnastic move perfectly choreographed, flips into the air, somersaults, and the unimaginable feat-functioning as human catapults! If such performances are performed on specially prepared terrain there is very limited risk to it. But each day these performers do these tricks to please the fans, unmindful of the fact that they are putting their very life to danger. Cheerleading has become very complex nowadays and risk of injuries to the neck, head, shoulders are much greater now.
Cheerleaders put in high level of athletic ability but strangely for unknown reasons cheerleading is still not considered a sport by the majority of schools. Because of this, it is not subject to the same safety regulations as other sports, like football. Secondly, most cheerleading squad’s coaches have no safety certifications or training. Some schools also do not have the appropriate equipment or space for cheerleaders to practice safely. Also the cheerleaders take an enormous risk and perform their stunts on floors made of hardwood. It is a sad thing that this charismatic sport is not given its due recognition in the field of safety. Already medical records claim that the number of permanently disabled cheer leaders has doubled and injuries have more than tripled.
Cheerleading is unsafe as any movement involving height and motion involves the risk of injury. Cheerleaders, perform safely only in cheerleading competitions. The other venues like Football fields and Basketball floors are not built with cheerleaders in mind. Especially young cheerleaders and their parents are not sufficiently aware of the dangers and there is an unacceptable failure to warn the participants about the dangers of their participation. There is an appalling lack of proper training that should be imparted to the aspiring children at school level. For financial considerations enough investment is not made into the training part of this beautiful sport. No warning suggestions are given and the trainees perform in the manner they feel comfortable.
First of all the coaches must be qualified persons with all medical proficiency that a sport like foot ball or basket ball would demand. Secondly a special arena or turf must be compulsorily put in place that is specially designed to avoid any injury to the cheerleaders. Thirdly a database of injuries to cheerleaders must be set up to monitor the condition and see whether the situation improves at all. If it does not there is no incentive to parents to put their children through the rigors of this sport called cheerleading. Enough investment must be made to bring the safety aspects within the reach of all schools.