by Brooke Wheaton
“Sport” is defined as an organized, competitive, and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play. However, despite the presence of this criteria in many of the sports people participate in every day, there are many out there who do not consider their efforts of the athletic variety. However, this believe is wrong, and, well, in poor sport…
It’s rude and incorrect to tell someone their sport is not “a real” sport. I’ve heard people provide all kinds of definitions of sports. Some claim that it’s not a sport unless it uses a ball. However, just because it’s not a typical sport like soccer, football, baseball, or basketball does not mean that others do not exist. Other activities have just as strong, fast, and tactically smart individuals.
Before anyone states a certain sport is not real, they should stop being insensitive and realize how much time people put into what they do. Horseback riding, cheerleading, fencing, dance, and crew are all sports. However, people forget to consider the amount of time people put into their sport.
Horseback riders normally put in three hours five days a week to practice. Cheerleading takes up a lot of time, from learning the routines and acrobatics, to actually supporting other athletic teams and competing. Cheerleaders need to practice synchronizing their moves together as a team. Some even need to take extra dance classes or learn gymnastics for extra practice. Fencers need an ample amount of time learning footwork, positions, and timing. Learning attacks and defenses from short, medium, and long distances takes time. And imagine how much time dance acquires. Memorizing every move and making sure they are perfect takes many, many hours. Crew takes time rowing and becoming stronger.
Strategy and sport intelligence is another aspect to consider when determining the quality and legitimacy of a sport. In horseback riding, the rider has to make sure the horse’s head is down. The riders’ heels have to be down, legs and arms in the right position, and posture just right. Also, they have to make sure they maintain the right distances between jumps. The amount of control it takes is overwhelming. Fencers have to move fast while thinking of what move to make next; there are an infinite amount of choices in fencing, but only one is usually
right. Cheerleaders and dancers have to be very strong to support others and themselves. Crew participants have to be very strong in order to increase their speed. Dancers need to think about their routine as well as making ensuring they make every move correctly. Cheerleaders need to strategize how to cheer as a team and making original routines.
Whether it is a horseshow, fencing competition, dance competition, cheerleading competition, or crew competition, each is officially a sport and should be treated and appreciated as such. If ones activity is competitive and takes practice, it is a sport. Just because some sports aren’t as popular does not mean they should be belittled. Each sport comes with its own struggles.