The Issue: Catastrophic Injuries from Cheerleading
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, catastrophic injury is a "sport injury that resulted in a brain or spinal cord injury or skull or spinal fracture." In April 2011, the US Sports Academy ranked cheerleading as the No. 1 female sport and the No. 2 sport overall––behind American football––in catastrophic injuries. Falls from gymnastics-type cheerleading stunts can have a greater impact than being tackled by a professional football player. Complicated routines involve stunts such as pyramids and basket tosses, where individuals can fall from heights of 15–20 feet.
The Campaign: Providing Cheer Squad with Padded Mats
If this Grassroots campaign raises $250, then Bridgeport Chargers Youth Cheer can purchase a padded mat for cheer-tumbling practice. Each additional $250 raised will fund another mat. Without safety equipment, the cheerleaders have had to practice on the grass outside or on concrete or wooden gym floors when the grass is unavailable, putting them at greater risk for potential injuries. With soft mats reducing the possibility of injury, the girls can practice their routines thoroughly and safely.
Bridgeport Chargers Youth Cheer
Bridgeport Chargers Youth Cheer teaches girls aged 5–14 from underserved communities how to perform basic cheer routines and stunts, keeping them occupied and out of destructive activities such as gang participation. The volunteer organization gives participants the opportunity to engage in a team-building sport while gaining personal strength and sportsmanship. Girls in the program learn grace as they perform pyramid stands and basket tosses and build a network of friends who share similar interests.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.