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related article on the "is badminton a sport?" topic

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by bigredlemon, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. bigredlemon

    bigredlemon Regular Member

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    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/05/29/MN301761.DTL&type=science



    Cheerleaders no pushovers, study shows
    They have strength, fitness equal to Olympic athletes

    Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Science Writer Thursday, May 29, 2003

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Don't let the cute outfits and pom-poms fool you.

    Female high-school cheerleaders nowadays can be serious athletes, according to a new study that found they have strength and fitness on a par with Olympic- level soccer players and gymnasts.

    They also drink way too much soda pop, according to the study results reported Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, which continues through Saturday at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

    Researchers led by Hermann Engels of Wayne State University in Detroit conducted one of the first studies of cheerleader fitness and physiology, measuring such things as workout capacity, flexibility and lean body mass in 33 high school cheerleaders.

    Engels and his colleagues distinguished between competitive cheerleaders, who typically view the activity as serious sport and compete regularly in regional or national contests, and members of traditional "sideline" squads who cheer only for their own school's sporting events.

    All the cheerleaders, competitive or otherwise, reported some questionable eating habits, consuming far too little Vitamin E and other key nutrients and too many "empty calories" in the form of soft drinks and other sweets, Engels said. He suggested that coaches consider working some dietary counseling into the cheerleader routines.

    Other than poor diets, however, the competitive cheerleaders and sideline cheerleaders had few results in common.

    The sideline cheerleaders clearly had less interest in strict training regimens. In fact, fitness tests showed the noncompetitive cheerleaders were little different than average untrained adolescent girls, Engels said in an interview.

    He and his colleagues even had difficulty getting the sideline cheerleaders to show up at the lab on time. The researchers started out comparing 20 competitive cheerleaders with 20 sideline cheerleaders, but wound up with full results for only 13 of the latter.

    The competitive cheerleaders, by contrast, typically arrived early, eager to see how they did on the treadmills, stationary cycles and bend-and-reach flexibility tests used in the research. On all counts, the competitors showed "superior athletic fitness" similar to results seen in studies of top-level amateur athletes.

    That came as no surprise to Sheila Noone, editorial director at the 200,000- subscriber American Cheerleader magazine in New York.

    Competitive cheerleaders often subject themselves to strict weightlifting and aerobic workouts, she said in a phone interview, noting that the cheerleading season runs year-round.

    About 235 colleges and universities offer cheerleading scholarships, providing an extra incentive beyond the intrinsic rewards of the basket tosses,

    tumbling and teamwork it takes to be on a winning squad.

    "There's still a stereotype -- in half the movies that have a cheerleader character, it's that typical blonde stereotype. But we don't see that. These are athletes," Noone said.

    She said the new study may help cheerleading shed its reputation as a strictly social outlet for high school girls. By her magazine's estimate, about 3.3 million people, including increasing numbers of males, are active in cheerleading of one kind or another in the United States.

    That doesn't include such pro squads as the Oakland Raiderettes, billed as "Football's Fabulous Females" but known more for their skimpy outfits and calendar poses than athletic ability.

    Even if they look like cheerleaders, Noone insisted they belong in a league of their own.

    "Those are dance teams," she said. "They are not cheerleaders."
     
  2. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    LOL, so BRL, u r trying to link quantity of soda pop consumption to fitness huh? Nice try;)
     
  3. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Haha! But Coke does help cool the body down after a game, no? :)

    As for the article, I'd admit that I've never looked at them as athletes until I finished reading this and I'd say that it's quite true. Cheerleading is akin to a team sport that combines the agility and grace of a gymnast while maintaining co-ordination. I forgot the fact that cheerleading is not as easy as just 'shout and jump'. :) Dancing needs practice, and to keep at it for longer periods while adding elements of acrobatics at it requires fitness.

    But unless the stereotype changes, people are unlikely to change their perception of cheerleaders as just pretty young things roped in during games to cheer up the competitors. At least that's how some of us Malaysians look at cheerleaders over there in the US, fed by TV networks with all the cool shows and movies from the US of A. :)

    Over here our cheerleaders are almost exclusively trained for competition purposes, with a little bit of special performances in between. Rarely do our cheerleaders appear during sports competitions to cheer the teams.

    But still, it begs the question:

    What does the article have anything to do with this topic? :D
     
  4. bigredlemon

    bigredlemon Regular Member

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    It does have something to do with badminton... but hey it's in off-topc so no complaints ok. ;)

    Well i posted this because aruging with others over whether badminton is a "real" sport comes up as a thread frequently. We despise the arrogance and ignorance of others--yet i'm we do the same all the time. As wilfredlgf said, most of us (me included) wouldn't consider cheerleading to be a "real" sport. Perhaps the way we see cheerleading is the same way people from other western countries see badminton?
     
  5. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Haha, no complaints BRL. Just making it funny by asking that question. But I see your point now.

    I'm not sure if I agree if cheerleading is a sport because it isn't featured in the Olympics, Asian Games etc etc. But many other 'sports' don't too, such as lacrosse and polo, but they're sports too, no?

    To me, cheerleading is more performance-based ie formation, synchronization etc. But so does synchronized swimming.

    Gee, I agree, yet I disagree. I think I should get more sleep... :eek:
     
  6. chub2003

    chub2003 Regular Member

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    is there a certain point a game passes to officially become a sport? Like it has an olympics or something international that makes it a sport? Or does one person say it and it catches on? dunno ive always wondered what makes a game a sport
     
  7. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    definition is the problem here.

    olympic or not definitely does not make one a sport. there are so many games not in the olymipcs.

    a combination of physical strength, endurance.

    i was going to say game play and tactical awareness, but some sports like track and field is mainly physical. (or may be i am wrong there).

    some sport doesn't require endurance either, like, what's there to endure for golf? the sunshine? that long walk they have make from hole to hole?
     
  8. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    Probably any activity could be classified as sport or not depending on the context within which it is performed.

    To my mind anything is a "sport" if it involves competition.

    Trying to classify some activities as sport and others merely as games gets you nowhere.

    If I run 100m on my own, it is not sport. It could be training. It could just be exercise. If I run 100m in a race against somebody else, then it's sport.
    Even if I run alone it could be a sport. I might be competing against the clock, just trying to beat my personal best.

    If you want categories, you can have physical sports (athletics etc.), intellectual sports (chess etc.) and combinations including artistic merits (synchronised swimming, ice skating, etc.)


    They're all sports, but some people want to be able to say "my sport's tougher than your sport, nah nah"
     
  9. Matt Ross

    Matt Ross Regular Member

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    Kwun,

    You are right, but funnily enough many athletes, including 100m sprinters have confessed to closing their eyes before a race and rehearsing the perfect race in their head. Strange, but alot of world class athletes do this.

    Matt
     
  10. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    ok, we still need to figure out the definition first. so let's start from the dictionary:

    sport ( P ) (spôrt, sprt)
    n.

    1a. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
    1b. A particular form of this activity.

    2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

    3. An active pastime; recreation.
     
  11. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Psyching themselves up. This is part of the mental preparation, which I think many of us tend to forget about, to become single-minded in the task.

    It's almost like figuring out something that loosely translates to 'game plan'. The athletes don't necessarily follow the 'plan' but uses it as a rough guide.

    The effects can be enormous.

    p/s - Btw Matt, which footie team do you support :)
     

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