State Public Health Department Reverses Ban on Cheerleading
SAN DIEGO, CA - Cheerleading is a sport and it’s even part of the Olympics now. But when youth sports in California were allowed to resume, cheerleaders weren’t allowed at high school sporting events. Since cheerleading is a non-contact sport that decision left many people confused as to why they weren’t allowed on the field. Coaches and families circulated petitions and held rallies to protest. Now cheerleaders are allowed at high school games.
Michaela Strange, the Cheer coach at San Diego’s Mount Miguel High School says the state Department of Public Health reversed its ban on cheerleaders at sporting events. “They did a breakdown of what sports can and can’t be back, and cheer unfortunately was down in the yellow, but cheer is a non-contact sport, were outside and were able to be six feet apart so they gave us the go-ahead.”
The CDPH’s original ban put cheer in the same category as band, drumline, and other supporting groups, but cheerleading coaches and parents across the state started an email and social media campaigns to get cheer teams back at the games and it worked.
Now that cheerleaders are permitted teams must follow CDC rules like wearing a mask while cheering, and many other regulations.
Mount Miguel high school senior Angelina Padilla doesn’t mind wearing a mask and says she’s just happy to cheer, “I didn’t think we were going to be able to have a season so to know I was going to get my last season I was really really happy.”
The majority of the cheer team at Mount Miguel are seniors and a lot of the girls had looked forward to cheering their senior year. At first, when cheerleaders couldn’t do games senior Kamia Russell says she was nervous. “this would have been the last I get to be with my girls, so I was taking a lot of that stuff into consideration, like wow I really might not have those Friday night lights with my girls anymore.”
Initially when other sports could play and practice but cheerleaders couldn’t cheer the team was hurt especially the seniors on the team.
Senior Padilla says, “It upset me because we’re not a contact sport like football players and some other sports and I didn’t get why we couldn’t come back and people that are like hitting each other and like touching each other could.”
Senior Russell says, “I was definitely kind of hurt by it because you know our job as cheerleaders is to be the spirit of our school and to cheer on other sports and to hear that those sports we cheer for and we’re here for were able to go back and continue but not us kind of hit me a different way.”
The team now cheers at multiple sporting events and because of that they are hopeful to have the feel of a full season despite having a late start.
Video, I'yonna Applon-Kettles
By I’Yonna Applon-Kettles
Photo, I’Yonna Applon-Kettles
Video, I’Yonna Applon-Kettles