A cheerleading team in East Hanover, New Jersey has become the topic of conversation across the cheer world. After a tryout left a few girls upset, the Athletic Director changed the policy of the program to allow all that wish to cheer to automatically be on the team.
Cheerleading is a sport. Cheer athletes work hard to hone their skills. It takes years to reach high levels of competition and we are on the cusp of being recognized as an Olympic Sport. Having an all inclusive team is simply a slap in the face to those that worked hard to maintain a standard for their program and were told that their work was not necessary.
This incident must be addressed because lack of feedback could allow this to set a precedent that over time could negatively affect the sport. Which program would be next? Additionally, what about other sports? Will the baseball team have unlimited players? Basketball? Football? How does this affect college applications (stating that you were a varsity athlete and didn’t have to earn it) and the quality of person that we are sending into adulthood (one that is just given placement on a team without having to work for it?). Though this is simply one team, we cannot wait for it to become another, and another, and another.
I’m not talking start World War 3 over one team in NJ, what I am saying is that if we don’t spread the word of this event and show that it is not an acceptable practice, we may allow the school based version of our sport o be diluted to just a closer spectator seat at Friday Night’s game.
If you wish to share your thoughts and feelings with the Hanover Park HS Athletic Director, click here.