Cheerleading Facts

Fun Cheerleading Facts

Whether you are a fan of sports or not, you will enjoy reading these cheerleading facts.  It’s hard not to get excited for your team when you see a group of cheerleaders wildly working to rouse the crowd. Whether at a professional sporting event or a Peewee football game, cheerleaders are an important part of sports.

Here are some cheerleading facts.  Some are fun, while others shed light on the more dangerous side of the sport.

How Many?

By some estimates, there are more than four million cheerleaders around the world. That’s a lot of rah-rah-rah!

The First Cheerleader

This will come as a surprise to some, but the person recognized as being the first cheerleader was a guy. The year was 1898 and Johnny Campbell led the cheers at a football game that took place at Princeton.

Guys and Gals

While some may have found the above cheerleading facts a bit surprising, the fact is that ALL cheerleaders were men at the beginning of the sport.  Times have certainly changed. Today only 3% of cheerleaders are men. The numbers for college cheerleaders, however, are quite different.  In the college sport of competitive cheering, 50% of participants are men.

Presidential Cheerleaders

Former President George W. Bush was a cheerleader at Phillips Academy.  He wasn’t the first president to have cheered his team to victory. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were both cheerleaders as well.

The Most Famous Squad

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are arguably the most famous cheerleading squad in the world. Their skimpy uniforms are as recognizable as any of the most famous uniforms in sports and the girls selected to be part of the squad become minor celebrities during their tenure.

For some who try out to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, it is a lifetime goal. Each year, thousands of girls try out, yet only 36 make the squad. Even veterans of the squad have to try out all over again. This ensures that the squad is always made up of the best of the best.

It’s Dangerous Business

While many people do not think that cheerleading has risks, the truth is that it is very risky, especially for cheerleaders that perform stunts.  Common injuries include broken bones and, in rare cases, more serious injuries.

Some states are pushing for regulations requiring stricter guidelines for safety at cheering practices and events.

Yes, it is a Sport

Here is a cheerleading fact that may cause some disagreement. While the role of cheerleaders originally was to support the football (and later basketball) team and rouse the fans who watched the games, cheerleading is now considered a sport in its own right.

While cheering for the football and basketball teams is still a big part of what cheerleading squads do, they also compete in their own competitions all over the world.

In fact, the sport is considered to be among the most dangerous. To be a competition level cheerleader requires advanced gymnastic skill. While gymnasts who perform similar moves do so with a mat to cushion any falls, cheerleaders work with no such safeguards.
More than one young cheerleader has died while performing and many more have sustained serious, life altering injuries.

Cheerleading is a sport that has morphed over the years, and will likely continue to do so. One thing is sure, everyone loves to watch as these talented men and women perfect their skills.