Is Cheer a Sport?

“Any man can hold a girl’s hand, but only the Elite can hold her feet.”


Do you think cheer is a sport? Well, it depends who you ask. If you were to ask the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), they would tell you that cheer isn’t officially recognized as a sport within the NCAA. However, in 2021, the International Olympic Committee “voted in favor of granting full recognition to the International Cheer Union (ICU) and cheerleading” (see more info HERE). If you ask WRMS students, you will get various responses.


8th grader Langley Tiller performs back tucks during halftime at the 8th grade football game on September 15 against Lawrence Southwest. (Greer Callaghan)

8th grader Phoenix Benaka doesn’t think cheer should be considered a sport. Benaka said he doesn’t think it’s a sport because “…when people pay to come to a football game, they watch the ball game.” Benaka does say that when cheer teams compete, then “kinda” they might be considered a sport. Paxton Poe, a 7th grader, agrees with Benaka in thinking that it’s not a sport. When asked if he would be a yell leader (male cheerleader) given the opportunity, Poe said “No, because that’s for girls.” Poe and Benaka also think the definition of a sport is being active, or a game of physical activity that people have to watch. The real definition of a sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature” (

Another 7th grader, Andi Hibbert, agrees with this definition and believes that, according to it, cheerleading is a sport. Hibbert is also a cheerleader. Hibbert said, “We compete like everyone else cause in sports, people compete against each other. We have competitions and we have fun like everyone else. We go in front of people and we do performances.” Lucy Hundley, 8th grader, agrees. Hundley said that if she could be a cheerleader she would, “…because it seems like a fun sport and I think you get to be with a lot of fun people and get to have a good relationship with the team.” Hibbert and Hundley aren’t the only ones who think cheer is a sport though. 74.1% of WRMS students agree with them in thinking that cheerleading is a sport. 


Cheer may sound or look easy, but it is a very difficult sport. Whether you think cheer is or isn’t a sport is up to you, but it still takes a lot of dedication and work.