Cheerleaders spend most of their time rooting on the home team, but they're not always on the sideline. On Saturday, about 400 cheerleaders from all over West Virginia took center stage from the annual State Cheer Competition.
It was a fun day for cheerleaders from around West Virginia competing in the annual State Cheer Competition. About 24 schools participated.
The cheerleaders had just a few minutes to showcase their skills, but their routines took hours in the gym to perfect.
“It's really tough, doing all the stunts, getting hit all the time, and doing it over and over,” said Taylor Davis, a student at Winfield High School. “You have to get everything exactly right and if you don't it's a lot of points."
But for many parents, they're not just worried about the points. They're also worried about injuries. About 16,000 cheerleaders are seriously injured every year in accidents from stunts and tumbles.
Despite the risks, cheerleaders take every day they hit the floor. Some cheerleaders say the sport doesn't get the respect it deserves.
Cheerleading hasn't always been such a dangerous sport. Doctors blame the rise in injuries on the increasing difficulty of the routines.