Cheerleading - History of Cheerleading
Have you ever been a cheerleader or wanted to cheer? When you think about cheerleaders, what do you picture? Is it a group of giggly girls? Is it a group of girls and boys? Are they athletes? Do they do stunts and flips, or do they just stand and clap?
Everyone knows that cheerleading is closely linked with American football. But, did you know that cheerleading was actually invented by male students? Let's take a look at the history of how cheerleaders came to be.
Princeton and Rutgers are two colleges. They played the first football game between two colleges in 1869, and this was the start of college football. By 1880, Princeton had an all-male "pep club." A pep club is a group that tries to motivate the football team through chants and songs.
Thomas Peebles, a student, left Princeton to go to the University of Minnesota, and the students there began to have "fight songs." These were songs that they sang to motivate the football team. In 1898, when the University of Minnesota was on a losing streak, student Johnny Campbell tried to get the crowd involved by picking up a megaphone and starting a cheer.
Females were not allowed to be cheerleaders until 1923, at the University of Minnesota. Over the years, tumbling and acrobatics have been added to the practice of cheering on the team, and cheerleading has developed into a competitive sport.
Cheerleaders now participate in much more than football. Cheerleaders can be found on the sidelines of basketball games as well, and some schools even have cheerleaders or pep clubs for other sports. Cheerleaders today are often very athletic. Tumbling and stunting requires a lot of practice. Because of the stunting and tumbling, cheerleading is also one of the most dangerous sports.