Cheerleading is really a sport |

Cheerleading is really a sport

This letter, in part, is in response to sports editor Shawn Swillinger’s column (Tuesday, Aug. 13) regarding cheerleading and whether or not it is a sport. Mr. Swillinger quipped about opening the proverbial can of worms … and I must say, he hasn’t seen nothin’ yet. How sporting is it to imply in the first part of the article that cheerleaders are basically girlie girls who talk about boys, clothes and cheerleading practice?

One would wonder how much research went into this article before it was written, because Grass Valley has its very own competition cheer squad that actually competed in the National Cheerleading competition in Anaheim last spring!

The Quake All-star cheerleaders hold all their practices at Rising Starz Gymnastics Academy. The cheerleaders need this type of facility to practice because of the rigorous stunts and tumbling that they incorporate into their routines.

These cheerleaders have at least two practices a week, each one lasting two full hours. They warm up and condition (much like football player do) and practice hard, with the bases lifting the flyers into full extensions over their heads (notice that cheerleaders have positions too). The flyers are agile and controlled (much like a wide receiver) and they trust their teammates to protect them (just like the offensive line protects their quarterback). Enough of analogies, I think you get the point.

These cheerleaders work had and it shows. They are muscular, toned and very dedicated to their sport.

The Quake All-stars would actually like to invite Mr. Swillinger down to the gym to see them in action. I guarantee he will observe a team of staunch athletes who are enthusiastic about cheerleading and determined to be recognized in their sport.

Joanne Perilman

Grass Valley

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