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Cheerleader safety

Published July 21, 2013 5:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

My granddaughter was dropped and sustained a brain injury while practicing a cheerleading stunt at a local high school.

It took a year to determine the serious and long-lasting nature of her injury. At first, she seemed to heal and she wanted to continue cheerleading. Her parents didn't assign blame or threaten to sue.

What followed was a lack of care or concern — from the cheerleaders who had dropped my granddaughter, her coaches and the principal.

Something is wrong here.

It is my understanding that the Utah High School Activities Association doesn't consider cheerleading a sport. Why not? Cheerleaders are thrown and tossed around at heights that are double and triple their own height, yet they wear no protective gear.

How long will the schools themselves allow this to continue? When will people realize that some stunts may lead to permanent brain trauma? Shouldn't there be training requirements for cheerleading coaches?

Geraldine T. Coombs

Salt Lake City