In an editorial called "Stuff your pompoms. This isn't sport." British columnist Victoria Coren weighs in on the "is cheer leading a sport?' debate. I like a lot what Coren has to say about feminism. When asked if she was a feminist Coren replied "My first, instinctive reply had taken the question to mean: "Do you believe in equal pay, equal rights and social freedom for all?", but, in 2010, that is surely just another way of asking: "Are you normal or a moron?" But I'm less takem by what she has to say about cheerleaders: "They aren't doing sport. They are waggling their arses near boys who are doing sport." I don't think Coren has watched much modern cheerleading. It looks pretty athletic to me.
Here's a clip from the Rick Mercer Report on the cheerleadering team from The University of Western Ontario. I'm not weighing in on complicated issues regarding funding and equal access for women's sports but the debate can't be solved simply by throwing up your hands and saying the equivalent of "I know sport when I see it and that isn't it." While I do wish that in Western's case the men's and women's uniforms were either equally skimpy or equally not, modern cheerleading is co-ed and VERY athletic.