I have to admit I was very skeptical at first. What? Everybody and anybody be a cheerleader? No way! Cheerleading isn't just yelling on the sidelines, it involves lots of physical activity, skill and tons of ability. It takes years to perfect some of the jumps, stunts and gymnastics involved in cheerleading. Everyone can't be a football player, nor can everyone sing in a choir (I for one, can't carry a tune) or play an instrument in a band. Some people possess abilities to do things that others may not and may never possess, right? You become a cheerleader by trying out and being selected because you are one of the best candidates. You've worked hard for your position. Isn't that what cheerleading try outs are about? Isn't it a way to determine who has the skill and ability to do the job and do it the right way? And doesn't cheerleading fall into the kind of category where the best get to be involved and the rest don't?
After giving it some thought and listening to Christina's stories, I have to say, she does have some valid points though. Self confidence is important to young people, as is the need to be included and feel like they are a "part" of something. Do we harm young people by making them feel inferior to their peers when they don't make the squad? Are these scars they will carry with them the rest of their lives?
Christina explained it this way, "throughout the years I've heard so many stories about how heartbroken the girls were, even years later as adults, at not having been able to participate in cheerleading." She went on to state, "I was watching the "Ellen" show last year and an actress, Courtney Thorne-Smith (she's in the sitcom "According to Jim") was talking about how heartbroken she was at not having made her cheerleading squad and how she still hasn't gotten over it." She continued, "And my mother told me about an Oprah show a couple of years ago in which one grown woman was on the show, tears running down her face, talking about how badly she wanted be a cheerleader and never got the chance and she never got over it. Those are the kind of stories that break my heart." So, Christina began researching cheerleading on the Internet and found many controversies over "unfair" cheerleading tryouts. These stories and many others like them, are her motivation and the reason she began "Everybody Cheers."
I think it's important that you know all this before you offer your opinion on the topic. This is a woman that is kindhearted and concerned for the well being of young people. She doesn't have a hidden agenda for her actions and ideas. She isn't doing this for any self-serving reasons. She just feels like everyone that wants to be involved in school spirit should be able to. I can see her side of this controversy, although I may not totally agree with it. And I hope you can see it too before you comment.
On the other side of the coin, maybe there are better ways to select a cheerleading squad. Perhaps we need to examine the try out process and ensure it is fair and impartial to everyone that participates. Then again, doesn't the fact that not everyone can be a cheerleader teach young people that they have to work for something they want? Isn't it a life lesson that you can't just want something and have it happen? You have to learn to set goals and work towards them, right? But what if more schools offered pep or spirit squads for those that want to be involved yet didn't have the skills to be a cheerleader, isn't that another option?
I definitely don't have all the answers, but I think this topic should be discussed further and that it warrants everyone's consideration. What do you think?