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March is National Cheerleading Safety Month

March 09, 2021

March is National Cheerleading Safety Month, which means there’s no better time to spread the word about cheerleading safety!

First coming into fashion in the United States 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. While cheerleading originated in the United States and remains predominantly in America with an estimated 3.85 million participants, the global presentation of cheerleading was led by the 1997 broadcast of ESPN's International cheerleading competition, and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring It On.

The International Cheer Union now claims 116 member nations with an estimated 7.5 million participants worldwide. Cheerleading has gained a lot of traction in Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with popularity continuing to grow as sport leaders pursue Olympic status.

Let's celebrate National Cheerleading Safety Month to ensure cheerleading continues to be the safe, supportive, and athletic sport that we love!

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 the 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 gives 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

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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!
     
  3. 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!