More schools are offering pupils sports such as cheerleading, yoga and boxing in PE lessons, while participation in traditional team games has declined
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At a recent meeting held between senior representatives of the British Cheerleading Association, Scotcheer and the United Kingdom Cheerleading Association, it was agreed that a united over-arching, organisation was needed to represent UK/GB cheerleaders internationally. This collective body, known as SportCheerGB has now been formed and is made up of representatives from the three existing organisations. Its main purpose will be to extend governance over cheerleading in the UK/GB and provide greater representation of member cheerleaders to the relevant international sports bodies.
Since 2000 when the compulsary teaching of competitive games to 14 – 16 year olds ceased, schools have gradually started to provide lessons in activities such as tai chi, mountain biking, golf and yoga. These have attracted pupils who disliked traditional team games, particularly “vulnerable” children, the inspectors said.
As a spectacle, cheer leading bears a valid comparison to gymnastics because of the tumbling and acrobatics. But it has a kitsch element that completes its identity – the high-energy fist pumping and bizarre facial expressions, the ‘go and shows’ where each stunt is accompanied by cutesy shrugs, head wiggles, ponytail flicking, grinning and unintelligible mouthing of words.