Cheerleading Experts Weigh in on Disturbing Viral Video

A disturbing video out of Colorado is making its way across the nation today

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- A disturbing video out of Colorado is making its way across the nation today.

It shows a high-school aged cheerleader being forced to do the splits.

Ally Wakefield, 13, can be heard crying out in obvious pain as high school cheerleading coach forces her into the position.

The video is raising concerns among parents, athletes and those in the cheerleading community.

“If an athlete is in physical pain and they’re asking over and over to stop, and to please stop that activity, that is clearly a stopping point. A coach in any type of sport should know that that’s where it’s time to stop,” said Joanna Fritsch, Assistant Director at Dakota Spirit.

Fritsch says she was horrified when she came across the video.

“That child is a victim, and was really forced to do something that she shouldn’t have been forced to do.”

She says while it unfortunately casts a bad light on the sport, the video highlights the *essential importance of safe and quality coaching.

“Cheerleading is a great sport, and of course there’s risks in it, just as any sport, and I think the key take away from this video is that the role models, the leaders, the coaches in our community, they needs to be very aware of the kids safety, the kids safety is always number one.”

She says as the sport increases in difficulty and skill, athletes are required to become more and more flexible, but that flexibility should never be forced.
“A safe progression is what it’s all about. As we push the envelope with difficulty and skill, we have to make sure that we have the basics, so at Dakota Spirit, many of our girls take a flexibility class.”

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