2, 4, 6, 8Who Do We Appreciate? Tumblers

Competitive cheerleading

With football and soccer under intense scrutiny for recent data suggesting both sports are high in concussions and head-related trauma, one of the oldest sports known to man is seeing a huge boost in participation.

Tumbling training and cheerleading is probably your son or daughter’s safest (and most enjoyable) path to have fun, meet new friends, and become an all star.

1. Safety: With the disturbing new evidence that many American pastimes are not as safe as parents may have assumed, many are looking for an alternative to contact sports. Hands-on safety is the name of the game in tumbling, as “spotters” are used for all maneuvers, from backbends to cartwheels, ensuring that even a beginner can have fun performing in a safe and supervised environment.

2. Participation: Sports are a great way to make new friends, and tumbling is no exception. Every summer, about 500,000 boys and girls descend upon cheer camps across the nation to brush up their skills and meet new friends along the way. About 80% of American schools have a team dedicated to cheerleading and/or tumbling.

3. Competition: Forget the old adage of cheerleading “not being a sport.” Tumbling has officially arrived and the numbers back it up. In addition to numerous local and national competitions, the USASF holds their annual World Cheerleading Competition each spring at Disney World. The vacation alone is worth the trip — but don’t let the mouse ears and twirling teacups fool you; the stage is big and the competition is intense.

4. Gender Equality: No, cheerleading is not just a sport for your daughter. The male presence in tumbling training and cheerleading has always been a huge part of the sport. Famous tumblers whose names you may recognize include former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5. Usefulness: The core components of tumbling training and cheerleading are things your child will use for the rest of their life. Whether it be at their future jobs, in other sports, or simply being strong enough to push the lawnmower around on a hot summer day, the benefits of tumbling training are infinite.