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Is Cheerleading a Sport? The Olympic Committee Ends the Debate 

  • The long-run debate on whether cheerleading is a sport is seemingly closing up
  • The Olympic Committee voted this week that cheerleading is a sport
  • Learn how cheering had a hard time getting recognised
Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Anyone who has seen Bring It On! Netflix’s Cheer! can truly celebrate this week. Yes, the Olympic Committee’s executive board voted for cheerleading to be an official Olympic sport.  The International Cheer Union will therefore receive more funding to better support their athletes. Find out how the debate on whether cheerleading is a sport evolved! 

If there is one thing that pops into our minds from the American student culture, it would be a cheer squad.  Cheerleaders had a hard time getting their passion recognised as a sport, believe it or not. Yet in the last couple of days, the Olympic Committee declared cheerleading as an official Olympic sport. What does that mean for the cheering community and athletes? Is cheerleading a sport now in people’s minds too? That will take some time since the weird obsession with pushing cheerleaders to the side probably won’t disappear overnight. Let us explore how cheerleading finally made its way to the biggest sporting event, and what it means for the future.

What makes cheerleading a sport?

Although cheerleading originated from American high-school and college culture, its sole entertainment purpose has been questioned many times. When talking about athletic skills, commitment and dedication we can tick all the boxes. Arguments claiming that cheerleading is a sport mostly rely on the fact, that it involves physical extortion. We can rightfully go beyond, and ask, what makes a sport. Since online sportsbooks in the UK involve disciplines from chess to Call of Duty competitions, we would think that traditional definitions already wore out. It has been a minute for cheerleaders to be recognised as athletes despite the fact that their acrobatic skills could take them to the Olympics. While it is not only pompoms and dancing around, it has a lot to do with gender roles. The originally female-dominated activity has been struggling not to be pushed to the sidelines.

Is cheerleading a sport for girls?

Is Cheerleading a Sport?
Let’s cheer!

Many have pointed out, that such roles definitely take part in the marginalization of cheering. High-shool and college cheering did mean support, vouch and entertainment to the local football or basketball teams when competing. While boys were athletes, the girl squad was only there to make a sideshow, until they made the entire show. On top of that, the highly athletic activity makes it just as dangerous as football if not even more. However, the danger factor should not be a key factor when discussing what makes a sport. Arguably, cheering is one of the riskiest athletic activities. Other official sports never had to prove their legitimacy based on how dangerous they were. Another argument is competition. But is cheerleading a sport only if it can be competitive?

While some say that due to its original role, competitions are not possible, we can easily debunk this. Not only cheering has several competitions now within their associations, but teams can also easily perform their routines and compete against each other in any sport setting these days. Moreover, hopes are, that cheering will enter the 2024 Paris Olympics for the first time. The decision to accept cheerleading as a sport is now only up to the NCAA or U.S. federal Title IX guidelines. The National Collegiate Athletic Association does have a National Cheerleading Championship.

Will we see cheerleading in sportsbooks?

Online sportsbook news in the UK always share updates on the upcoming NCAA Championships.  Unibet Sportsbook features NCAA football and basketball for the upcoming 2021/2022 college football championship. Currently, Alabama has the best odds, with sidenote, this College also has one of the highest-rated cheer team as well. In 2020, UCF and the University of Alabama took the top cheers honours at the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading & Dance Team National Championship. It is for our excitement that cheerleading might soon get involved at the Olympics. With various Olympics, special bets, available on  Unibet Sportsbook, cheerleading will definitely be a pop of colour when wagering on our favourite sports.

You can discover more about Unibet Sportsbook here.

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