Competitive Cheerleading is a sport. It is a physical activity that is governed by rules under which a winner can be declared, and its primary purpose is to compare the skills of participants.
Cheerleaders work as hard as any other athlete. Non-cheerleaders consider it not a sport because people think cheerleaders are just girls screaming cheers in cute uniforms and have no athletic ability. Cheerleaders do more than scream cheers. All in two and a half minutes they have to tumble (flip), jump as high as they can, pick people up at least five times, dance with the sharpest motions, and still try to look like they are not dying.
If some would try and do what competitive cheerleaders do, they would think the cheerleaders are crazy for trying the hard stunts. They throw girls twenty feet into the air like it is normal. The fliers are put in the air by the bases (people that hold the flier), and require strength and cooperation with other teammates. What they do is not normal. Flipping and picking people up is not normal for the human body. The tumbling they perform is incredible. They perform standing back flips, round flip-flops, and full layout twists. The fliers must be tight at all times so that their bases can catch them safely.
Cheerleaders work as hard as and are as built as gymnasts. Cheerleaders and gymnasts have to learn to tumble and control their body to stay safe at all times.
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, cheerleading is the number one cause of serious sports injuries to women.
Emergency room visits for cheerleading are five times the number than for any other sport. Cheerleaders do not have padding or safety equipment such as hip pads, kneepads, shin guards or helmets just their uniforms.
For an activity to be considered a sport it must be a physical activity, which involves propelling a mass through space or overcoming the resistance of mass (stunting), “contesting” or competing against/with an opponent is required (competition), it must be governed by rules that explicitly define the time, space, and purpose of the contest and the conditions under which a winner is declared (time limit, mat size, score sheets), and acknowledgement that the primary purpose of the competition is a comparison of the relative skills of the participants (The cheer competitions of ESPN are National Championships)