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When considering the list of high-octane or high-impact sports that might give rise to catastrophic injury claims – both rugby codes, American football, boxing, wrestling, martial arts and motorsport to name but a few – it would seem more than a little surprising to learn that cheerleading is in fact one of the sports with the highest rates of serious personal injuries.

Yet, this is precisely what the details of a 2015 Colorado School of Public Health study showed; cheerleading, often derided as being a "soft option" or "not a real sport" is in fact second only to gymnastics in terms of the proportion of injuries that cause participants to be injured for more than three weeks.

"Although overall injury rates are relatively low, cheerleading injuries may be more severe when they do occur," commented the researchers.

The study was exhaustive. It analysed data over a five-year period starting in 2009 and found that concussions – which have recently been implicated as a warning factor in the development of catastrophic head injuries – made up 31 percent of all cheerleading injuries.

Of these concussions, 70 percent occurred as a result of lifting teammates into the air, 16 percent resulted during the execution of pyramid formation routines, and nine percent occurred during "tumbling". It seems that cheerleading has more in common with full contact sports such as rugby than many might imagine; the majority of lifting head injuries are as a result of collisions.

Worryingly, a high proportion of such injuries are serious or catastrophic, with five percent resulting in the end of the injured cheerleader's career.

Cheerleading in the UK

Cheerleading is by no means a singularly American activity. In fact, over the past decade cheerleading has become an extremely popular pastime among young people in the UK.

In 2010, figures from the Department of Education showing that 37% of schools offered cheerleading as an option in PE, while major events and cheerleading competitons are held in London, Blackpool, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Manchester and more.

Seth Lovis & Co personal injury lawyers

Whether you have sustained injury in a road accident, a sporting accident, a workplace accident, or as a result of an act of medical negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation through a catastrophic injury claim with the personal injury lawyers at Seth Lovis & Co.

Complete a no-obligation enquiry form to find out further details or, alternatively, please call us now on 0808 252 0678 to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our expert team.

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