BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Every week, hundreds of girls from all over Eastern Maine spend hours training at Big 10 Cheer in downtown Bangor.
Many of the cheerleaders, like Mackenzie West from Bangor, say cheering has evolved since the days of standing on the sidelines and waving pom-poms.
"The whole - it's not your grandma's sport anymore. It's girls being thrown up in the air, holding hands with other girls. Completely risky things. It's done a complete 180 spin since back in the day," she says.
Fellow Big 10 Cheer enthusiast Kelsey Maguire agrees. She trains at Big 10 Cheer, in addition to her cheering duties as a sophomore on the Bucksport High School squad.
In fact, both girls say cheering can definitely cause some injuries.
"I've pulled a lot of muscles in my upper leg, I've twisted my ankle, I've had knee problems, elbow, wrists, everything," says Maguire.
But the two say they commit to the sport because they love it, and there's the opportunity to pass their knowledge and skill down to younger generations.
"It's fun to watch them learn new things and have them look up to me. It's always a rewarding feeling," says West.