The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement in 2012 that stated the number of cheerleaders
from the age of six years and up have increased from around 600,000 participants to more than 3 million between
1990 to 2003. The number of cheerleaders has certainly grown since then. And because cheerleading has evolved
from leading crowds to cheer during sports events to a most competitive year-round activity marked by increasingly
dangerous and complex acrobatic stunts, the associated injuries of cheerleaders have mounted at an alarming rate.
While female cheerleaders (and 96% of cheerleaders are girls) do not experience rates of injury higher than those
participating in lacrosse, basketball, soccer or gymnastics, those injuries are disproportionately catastrophic in
nature. The routine execution of complicated acrobatic feats, often involving tossing each other high into the air, or
in building lofty human pyramids, had resulted in a dramatic increase in the frequency of falls – sometimes from
great heights – and broken limbs, head, neck, and back injuries. It is not unheard of for cheerleaders to commonly
suffer permanently disabling or even fatal injuries.
New York State is been considering since 2009 joining the other 34 states that currently classify cheerleading a sport.
(10) On April 29, 2014, the New York Board of Regents unanimously voted to consider “competitive cheer” a sport.
This new classification requires that cheerleaders engage in strength and conditioning programs, not only during the
competitive season, but during the preseason period. Cheerleaders practice time would be regulated, as well as the
training facilities they practice in.
Before the vote, cheerleaders had no limits on the length of seasons, weren’t required set practice time, or the time
between competitive events. No special training of cheerleading coaches was required, and participants did not
have access to onsite medical staff when needed. In addition, cheerleaders will now have opportunities to receive
scholarships and scholar-athlete awards. And that alone is worth cheering about.
THIS QUESTION ASKS ABOUT PARAGRAPH 3 AS A WHOLE:
The writer is considering adding the following question to this paragraph at this point: "But why is this designation important?"
What effect, if any, will the insertion of this question on the logic and coherence of Paragraph 3?