For the past four years I have had the great opportunity of being a part of the Varsity Cheerleading team at Hopkins Academy. For the past four years I have also been repeatedly told that Cheerleaders are not athletes, according to our school and the MIAA. I found this absolutely ridiculous. How is this not considered a sport? A “sport” according to dictionary.com is defined as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” Weird, seems like cheerleading to me. We work our butts off each year to go out and do what we love, only to not get any respect in return, which is really frustrating. Yes, we are a form of entertainment for the basketball games, but there is so much more to us than that. We have practice every day just like the basketball players. It takes skill to do what we do and so many of us have talent that is completely unseen. Not everyone can go out on the floor, throw someone into the air, catch them, and then turn around and go dance. This sport isn’t a joke, and to many of us on the team, we are extremely dedicated and look forward to the season each and every year. Every single one of us on the team loves what we do. We love going to every game and cheering our basketball teams on. And each one of us considers each other an athlete, no matter what the rest of the school may think.