WJTV News Channel 12 - The potential dangers involved in cheerleading

Triangle cheerleaders highlight the dangers of the sport

Posted: Updated:
GARNER, N.C. -

Poms-poms and cheering on the sidelines now play just a small part in the world of cheerleading. It's evolved to become one of the most competitive sports in the country and also one of the most dangerous.

A lot of media attention has been given to football players lately and how dangerous it can get on the field. They're susceptible to a range of injuries, one of the most common being concussions.

But what about cheerleaders?

At Garner Magnet High School, the cheerleading team spends hours training and preparing for pep rallies, football games, and cheerleading competitions.

Spend just a few minutes with these girls during practice and their athletic abilities are undeniable.

Lacey Castora is the co-captain of Garner's cheerleading team. She said, "It's a lot harder than you think. I've seen people fall and get hurt tumbling."

A quick search on YouTube and you'll see just how dangerous competitive cheerleading can be.

The sport comes only second to football in catastrophic injuries. This makes cheerleading the most dangerous female sport in the country.

During practice at Garner High, one of the girls fell during one of the stunts.

Former cheerleader Whitney Rigsbee said it's just part of the sport. "In high school one time, I dropped and dislocated my elbow. So, I was out about six weeks to two months for that."

Just as the sport has evolved, the rules to protect cheerleaders have also evolved over the years.

Helen Cole is Garner's cheerleading coach. Cole said, "A couple years ago they took out a 7-20, which is a spin down and you twist around twice. Well, there were apparently a lot of head injuries and concussions from that particular move. We cannot spin twice. We can only spin once."

The number of cheerleaders hurt each year has climbed drastically in the last 20 years. A national group of cheerleading coaches is campaigning to make cheerleading an official sport, so it can get the right staffing and resources other sports do, to protect their athletes.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Durham mom says she didn't try to give away kids on Craigslist

    Durham mom says she didn't try to give away kids on Craigslist

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:48:05 GMT
    A mother of five says an ad she posted on Craigslist, in which she asked for someone to "take her five kids," was not what it seemed.
    A mother of five says an ad she posted on Craigslist, in which she asked for someone to "take her five kids," was not what it seemed.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.