SOLENT Ravens fly high in the cheerleading world, but when they land with a bump it completely explodes the myth that females are the weaker sex when it comes to sport.
And when Fliers are spectacularly thrown high into the air, there is inevitably a time when they crash land in a sport which ranks among the highest for injuries.
Since it became a recognised sport, cheerleading is no longer just a matter of waving pom-poms and chanting.
Cheerleading accounts for up to 66% of all injuries to female athletes in all sports and in the last 30 years, cheerleading injuries are up a staggering 440%
Routines have became more daring and dangerous as adventurous squads like the Ravens push the envelope in their sets.
Despite the alarming figures, Ravens’ vice-president Alice Bissett maintains the sports is safe, and the cause of most injuries is almost innocuous.
“Believe it or not, most injuries occur from not warming up properly, which causes muscle pulls and strains,” says Bissett, who adds that proper training is vital to prevent serious injuries.
Similar to trampolining, Spotters are vital when team members are catapulted into the air as Fliers.
“It’s important for the girls not to drop their Fliers,” says Bissett, “and for that reason. every squad has to undergo a lot of training, and every team has to have a qualified coach who has gone through thorough training.
“But no matter how much training you have, you are still going to get injuries in a sport like this, there is always a risk.”