Ready? Okay! March is National Cheerleading Safety Month, which means there’s no better time to spread the word about cheerleading safety! Cheerleading is one of the most popular sports in the United States. First coming into fashion in the 1920s, the sport of cheerleading has evolved from a sport of community inclusion and patriotism to a revered athletic sport consisting of tumbling, acrobatics, and strength. Celebrate National Cheerleading Safety Month to ensure cheerleading continues to be the safe, supportive, and athletic sport that we love!
National Cheerleading Safety Month - History
Professional Cheering Begins at US Football Events
While estimates of exact dates vary, it was sometime in the 1950s that the first football teams began to hire professional cheerleaders to improve spectacle at games.
February 22, 1877
Princeton Holds First Cheer Meet
This is the first recorded cheer event, in which students, all of them male, got together to formally cheerlead sports events.
November 6, 1869
"Sis Boom Rah!" Cheered for the First Time
The famous "Sis Boom Rah!" cheer originated at the first intercollegiate football game between Rutgers and Princeton.
First Sports Cheer Recorded
British students organize cheers to encourage their sports teams.
How to Observe National Cheerleading Safety Month
1. Follow the rules and guidelines
Cheerleading rules are strict for a reason! Being sure that your team closely follows rules regarding forming pyramids, tossing, and other stunts will help to ensure athletes don’t go beyond limits of safety, keeping themselves and their teammates safe and injury-free.
2. Strengthen your muscles
Some of the most common injuries in cheerleading include sprains and strains due to wear and tear on muscles and ligaments that are not properly strengthened and stretched. Be sure to incorporate regular stretching and strengthening routines into your practice regimen to build stamina, strength, flexibility—and of course, and reduce the likelihood of injury.
3. Get your first-aid kits ready
Whether you’re a cheerleader, coach, or parent, being prepared for potential injuries by bringing a first aid kit to training and competitions give you the foresight and proper preparation in case something should happen. Not only is this a smart move, but it allows everyone to feel more secure and have more fun.
Why National Cheerleading Safety Month is Important
A. Cheerleading takes incredible athletic ability
Cheering requires an incredible amount of strength, flexibility, timing and muscle memory. Making sure that cheerleaders are prepared both mentally and physically for stunts will ensure the safety and success of all team members. Encouraging and engaging in health and fitness lifestyle habits will help everyone to perform their best at practice and competition time.
B. Safety helps keep our spirits high
Cheering is a sport of incredible athletic ability, empowerment, and unity. It gives you the chance to challenge yourself both physically and mentally, all while making great friendships and lead support and pride in your community. Not to mention, you get to jump, flip, and dance to fun music. When you cheer you’re not just an athlete—you’re a performer!
C. It prevents serious injuries
Coaches should ensure that their cheerleaders are using proper skill progression to keep routines structured around safety. Make sure to follow the recognized safety practices (AACCA, NFHS or USASF) and develop and practice an emergency plan in case of serious practice injuries. The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators helps educate coaches, cheerleaders, and parents on safe practices that will ensure the safety and well being of all participants!