After teaching ESL to visiting Japanese students at Hawaii-based school ESL Master, Kristin Kinkel served as a bilingual educational assistant at the Hillsboro School District in Oregon. Kristin Kinkel is a graduate in TESOL at Hawaii Pacific University, where she was a recipient of a full tuition scholarship as a cheerleader. She has been active in the sport of cheerleading for a big part of her life, and between 1994 and 2003 served as a head instructor and judge at Varsity Spirit Corporation.
It s not uncommon to hear people ask if cheerleading is a legitimate sport, and it is quite understandable. In fact, as recently as 2010, a court decided that cheerleading cannot be considered a sport, as in terms of competitive events it is still underdeveloped and disorganized. However, cheerleading experts know that no court decision can negate the fact that cheerleading is as much a sport as any other.
While there are no strict guidelines in determining if something is or isn’t a sport, some sports writers have devised arguments to prove that it is. First, the degree of physical exertion required is high. With all the dancing, tumbling, and carrying, cheerleading is an incredibly physically demanding activity. Needless to say, it takes several years of athletic training to pull off even some of the most basic cheerleading moves. Training is always supervised by a qualified coach, much like with any other sport.
Lastly, for any activity to be considered a sport, there must be competition with an organized set of rules and regulations. In this regard, national cheerleading championships have been conducted for many years now, thanks to the generosity of various independent organizations.