Last year, nearly 37,000 cheerleaders visited the emergency room! Cheerleaders suffer more direct catastrophic injuries after football than track, baseball, wrestling, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and gymnastics. This infographic illustrates the dangers cheerleaders are exposed to, and why being categorized as a sport is important.
The rate of direct catastrophic injuries is rising; it is now four times higher then in 1980. Between 1982 and 2011 Cheerleading accounted for 71% of College female athlete injuries, and 65% of High School female athlete injuries. However, despite the dangers in many states Cheerleading is not recognized as a sport.
There are over 500,000 female High School Cheerleaders in this country. Cheerleading being classified as a sport will give those athletes valuable protection including qualified coaches, well-maintained practice facilities, mandated sports physicals, access to certified athletic trainers and surveillance of injuries.
Currently, on 29 states recognize High School Cheering as a sport. Even the NCAA does NOT recognize Cheering as a sport.
If we do not recognize Cheerleading as a sport we are putting these athletes at risk, they deserve the same level of training and medical care as other student athletes.