WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The video of girls forced to do splits on the East High School cheerleading team has been shown over and over.
Instructors who coach cheerleading at other high schools have weighed in on what they’ve seen.
“It’s quite disturbing,” Alameda High School cheer coach Dakota Turner said. “I would say that’s totally out of the ordinary. I know a lot of cheer coaches in a lot of different states and I’ve never seen that drill.”
Turner said what the video shows is an attempt to stretch an athlete’s splits.
“She was clearly in pain,” Turner said. “I would never recommend pushing an athlete down or holding an athlete down while doing the splits.”
“If any athlete ever tells us to stop or asks us to stop, or tells us that something’s in pain, then our job as professionals is to immediately cease that activity,” coach Jennifer Larsen said.
Coaches say safety is the No. 1 priority when it comes to any sport and coaches should listen to what the athletes say.
“No means no,” Larsen said.