Crystal Cheerleading TrophyFootball at the high school, college, and professional levels is a dangerous sport. As a contact sport, players are tackled, hit, and crushed. Athletes who enter this sport must accept the fact that they have a pretty good chance of being injured, and some of them will end up in the hospital. Studies have shown football players are more likely to visit a hospital emergency room more than any other athlete.

But can you guess the sport that generates the second most trips to an emergency room? If you thought soccer, think again. Sure, there’s plenty of contact on the field and more and more kids are starting to play, but soccer is not the answer. It must be wrestling, right? Basketball has elbows flying and charges, so it must be basketball, correct? Neither sport is the answer. Do you give up? The answer is cheerleading.

According to a report by ABC news back in November, 37,000 cheerleaders suffered sudden, catastrophic injuries last year and had to be treated in emergency rooms. That number is four times the amount of injuries recorded back in 1980. ABC’s report also states that these injuries are on the increase because of the risky nature of cheerleading, especially competitive cheerleading. In competitions, cheerleaders must perform acrobatic moves including some flips that reach twenty feet into the air. One slight slip may result in a head or neck injury.

Due to the growing number of injuries, March has been declared National Cheerleading Safety Month by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA). The AACCA has become the source for all cheerleading safety education. The group offers a course for coaches and administrators to teach the physics of cheerleading. It also offers a manual to instructors on how to recognize the emotional and physical readiness of their athletes. More information may be found at https://www.aacca.org/.

To promote March as National Cheerleading Safety Month, the AACCA has also created a website, http://www.cheersafe.org/. Along with support from the NCAA and the NFHS, the CheerSafe site provides vital educational information on how to prevent all types of injuries from happening to young athletes in the sport of cheerleading. Training, regulations, and expert advice also appear on the website in an effort to protect the athletes.

Do you have a cheerleader in your life you would like to recognize this month? Are you a coach of a group of girls who worked hard every day this season, and now it is time to reward them? Hit Trophy has a way to recognize your dedicated cheerleaders. Our Cheerleading Trophy, item CRY1292, captures the spirit of cheerleading in 3-D. A solid crystal column encloses an etched image of a cheerleader with her pom-poms. The word “Cheerleading” runs vertically through the crystal and can be seen from the four different angles of the square column. The trophy may be personalized with the athlete’s name, year, and level of participation such as JV or varsity. We will fit three lines of type on the front side of the column, and we will engrave it for free. A satin lined gift box comes with the trophy, so it will be ready for presentation to the deserving athlete. At $14.90, you can afford to purchase one for the entire squad!

So the next time you hear someone laughing at cheerleading as a sport, remember this month, and also remember to honor the effort, dedication, and physical sacrifice of the cheerleading athlete.