Espn Top Places To Watch A High School Football Game A Brief History of Cheerleading

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A Brief History of Cheerleading

Whenever you go to a sporting event, no matter the sport or level, fans love to cheer on their favorite teams. This has been the case for as long as sports have been around, but organized cheering (or cheerleading) dates back to 1898. Thomas Peebles brought cheering to the University of Minnesota from Princeton University, but student Johnny Campbell adopted it and led the crowd. “Rah, rah, rah! Scoo-u-mar! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! University! University! Minn-e-so-tah!” The organized cheers of his leading cheers at the game merited a write-up in the November 12, 1898 edition of “Aerial” which stated that Campbell and others led the crowd in cheers “to-day to see everyone leave the park breathless and voiceless.” Shortly after the game. , an organized team was formed at the University of Minnesota consisting of six male students.

By the turn of the century, cheerleading began to expand as an organized activity or sport. By 1903 the first cheerleading fraternity, Gamma Sigma, was formed. Women became active in cheerleading in the 1920s, as until 1923 cheerleaders were only male. When women joined the ranks of cheerleaders, things like megaphones and acrobatic or gymnastic moves were added to the routines. The pom-pom (which some consider the ultimate cheerleader symbol) was invented by Fred Gasthoff in 1965.

The National Cheerleaders Association (or NCA) was founded in 1948 by Lawrence “Herky” Herkimer, a former cheerleader at Southern Methodist University. She founded the organization to hold clinics for cheerleaders, and the first clinic (held in 1949) had 52 women participating. He founded the Cheerleading Supply Company in 1953, which retailed skirts and sweaters for cheerleading teams and groups.

Cheerleading got a boost in the 1970s – a very glamorous boost – when the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders became a recognized group with a trademark revealing blue and white uniforms and stylish dance moves. Not only professional football teams have cheerleading squads – other sports such as basketball, baseball and hockey have caught on to the popularity of cheering and created their own cheerleading squads.

In 1978, the first collegiate cheerleading championships were televised on CBS, as competition between cheerleading squads began to grow. In the 1980s, the cable sports network ESPN began broadcasting national high school cheerleading competitions. As the popularity and love of this activity grew, the difficulty and complexity of the routines increased. Along with increasing the difficulty of the routines came concerns about the safety of the participants. Most cheerleading organizations have adopted universal safety standards to ensure the safety of participants and reduce the number of injuries.

Cheerleading is a huge part of American culture in today’s society. There are movies that have popularized the sport of cheerleading (like the movie series Bring On). Cheerleaders have been featured in reality television programs (“Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Team” and the WE Television reality program “Cheerleader Nation”). Serious fans can find video games about cheerleading for the Nintendo and Wii entertainment systems. Many of today’s most famous people were former cheerleaders—including President George W. Bush, Madonna, Paula Abdul and Vanna White.

Cheerleading is so popular, thousands of young men and women attend camps and clinics to learn the latest cheerleading routines and skills. It is estimated that 97% of people involved in organized cheerleading today are women, but the level of participation of men and women at the collegiate level is about the same.

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