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 • Cheerleaders • Gymnasts •  Athletes • 
Why is a Cheerleader also a Gymast and an Athlete?

Defining Cheerleading:
In 1898, Johnny Campbell put the "leader" in cheerleading by leading the first cheer, or chant, at a football game being played at the University of Minnesota. This caught on as a great way to promote team spirit and although almost all original cheerleaders were male, females quickly caught up and passed that statistic.

While still not officially considered a sport, cheerleaders are still exceptional athletes. In order to perform their activities, they must be as strong as any football player, as graceful as any dancer and as flexible as the best gymnasts. They are athletes by every definition of the word.

Nowhere does this athleticism standout more than in competitive cheerleading. It can be difficult trying to separate the initiation of competitive cheerleading from the origin of cheerleading itself.

If you think about the situation for college females at that time there was truly limited opportunities for them to compete in athletics, so cheering became a venue in which they could truly compete against one another in a setting, which included athletic skills (tumbling and gymnastics). It has just become more prominent and accepted as well as encouraged.

If you or someone you know, has an interest in competitive cheerleading its fairly easy these days to get information on the subject. Naturally, the first place to start would be the school being attended. In addition, a great way to check out possible competitions is through cable sports channels. Since it has gained so much in popularity, it is shown on a regular basis through many of the cable TV channels. You may also want to consider getting in touch with the Collegiate Cheerleading Championships organization.

If you would like a first hand glimpse at this type of competition check out The United States All Star Federation (USASF) competitions. This organization only hosts two competitions a year, The Dance Worlds and The Cheerleading Worlds. This event also showcases international teams from all over the world; sponsoring companies allocate substantial resources to support the teams that participate in the respective Nationals.

Experts tell us that many of our youth are succumbing to a "couch potato" type lifestyle. Competitive cheerleading has proven to be a healthy and fun activity. The term healthy referring to both the amount of exercise involved as well as the importance being able to work as a team.

Both of which are very important life lessons that will help them to grow and mature.

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