Students Argue: Is cheer a sport?

by Tess Breslin

of The Gleaner

Have you ever asked the question, “What really is a sport?” While there is no definite answer, the question remains. Cheerleading compared to the five other fall sports has always been a tad controversial when it comes down to being a sport or not.

“Cheer is a sport because we practice a lot and it takes a lot of energy and team work,” said Kiernan Scace, ‘21, a varsity cheerleader. “For cheer you have to be strong both mentally and physically.”  

While cheerleaders do have to put in a lot of time and energy into their routines, that doesn’t quite qualify it as a sport for many Wahlert students.

Ben Rau, ‘21, argues, “Cheer is definitely not a sport because there is no objective. A sport has to have a winner and a loser.”

While the sideline cheering that the cheer team does at Wahlert football games has no winner, the cheer team does more than just sideline cheer. 

“Last year, the cheer team went to state and competed against other teams,” said Lydia Foy, ‘23, a first-year cheerleader. At its first ever state competition last year, the team competed against other high school teams and eventually captured fifth place.

“Cheer is half a sport and half not a sport,” asserts Evan Welu, ‘22. “A sport has to have some kind of competition. When the cheerleading team is on the sidelines, that doesn’t qualify them as a sport, but when they compete against other teams that does qualify them as a sport.”

Overall, students disagree about whether cheerleading is just an activity or a real sport. But, like any sport, lots of preparation occurs behind the scenes.

“I totally understand why people wouldn’t think of cheerleading as a sport because all they see is us standing around on Fridays cheering, but in reality we put a lot more effort in than most people can see,” said Scace.