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Cheerleading can kill: official

When pom-poms attack

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We're not quite sure what to make of this one, but feel it is in the public interest to report that any reader interested in taking up cheerleading as a fun alternative to IT would do well to check that their health insurance policy covers them for dangerous sports.

That's because a report in the journal Pediatrics shows that between 1990 and 2002, cheerleader injuries treated in US A&E rooms doubled to a staggering 208,800 - mostly for "leg, ankle and foot injuries", as the Boston Herald explains.

The reason is pretty simple - the increase in cheerleading injuries is "attributable to the bungling of tougher stunts" as the Pediatrics study puts it, before adding that cheerleading has “evolved from a school-spirit activity into an activity demanding high levels of gymnastics skill and athleticism".

For a properly scientific explanation, though, let's allow the Boston Herald to shake its linguistic pom-pom: "Blame it on cutthroat-competitive films such as Bring it On and former Los Angeles Lakers Girl Paula Abdul, whose dance moves at center court revolutionized sis boom bah into sexsational badabing."

We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Finally, and for any reader who thinks that a couple of twisted ankles really does not merit the attention of El Reg, note the sad case of 14-year-old Ashley Burns of Medford Vocational Technical High School, who, while at a private cheeleading school with fellow Medford High Mustangs, "fell on her stomach and ruptured her spleen. An hour later, she was dead." ®

And the IT angle?

None that spring to mind, but who can begrudge us taking the opportunity to reprint the quite sensational "revolutionized sis boom bah into sexsational badabing"? Lovers of English rejoice.

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