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Rah-rah safety

October 19, 2009

Re "Cheerleaders take high-flying risks under untrained eyes," Oct. 13

It is irresponsible to allow an assertion from the National Cheer Safety Foundation that coaches' safety training is dangerous because "it gives people a false sense of security."

Our association stresses to our coaches that safety training is the first step in an ongoing effort to help create a safe environment for cheerleaders.

Safety training is an important component of any safety program, as recognized by the National Federation of High Schools, the NCAA and the U.S. All Star Federation.

Coaches should continue their professional development to provide a safe environment for this very athletic activity.

Jim Lord

Memphis

The writer is director of the American Assn. of Cheerlead- ing Coaches and Administrators.

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Think being thrown in the air and twisting your body in circles is not dangerous? Think again.

As you reported, "cheerleading injuries resulting in emergency room visits have increased ... since 1980 to nearly 30,000 in 2008," according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

I am a college cheerleader myself, and this information makes me wonder whether my coach really knows the proper safety techniques.

If an activity as dangerous as this isn't considered a sport, then what is?

Cheerleading needs to be considered a sport in all school districts so we can ensure that all coaches are certified and know how to keep the cheerleaders safe.

Amanda Schmid

Northridge

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