Athletes come in all shapes and sizes and usually take a risk when they get out on their field of play. It’s no different with cheerleaders, as they have been in the news recently as the push was on to make cheerleading a sport and give them the same resources and care that athletes like football and basketball players get.
Make no mistake about it, cheerleaders are athletes and the sport is dangerous. With 400,000 high school cheerleaders, 123,000 on competitive cheerleading teams and up to another 10,000 in colleges and universities, this is a popular sport.
I interviewed Rachael recently for a Yahoo piece I wrote.
1. Were you aware of the push and all the media attention this topic was getting – cheerleading being a sport? And is the general public just learning what you guys have known for a long time– that cheerleading is dangerous
2. Athletes in other sports I talk with say when they play their sport, they thought of injury never crosses their mind.
3. Talk about your training routine
4. You’ve been doing this for years, how has it changed just in the last 5-7 years?
5. Technology in your training, watch video, etc
6. Injuries and the support you guys get… Cheerleading accounts for 66 percent of all catastrophic injuries in high school female athletes over the past 25 years. (Catastrophic injuries can result in permanent brain injury, paralysis or death.)
7. Concussions a big problem in sports and your personal situation with concussions. Concussion rates increased by 26 percent between 1998 and 2008 for cheerleading, but remained stable in other girls sports. Also, high-energy floor routines and physically demanding skills, including pyramid-building, lifting, tossing and catching athletes in the air account for 42-60 percent of all injuries and 96 percent of all concussions.
8. Social media, and how it has changed the life of a student-athlete
9. The one piece of modern technology that you can’t live without?
Rachael Kelley Cheerleader St. Louis University: TOS #35: October 28th, 2013