BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Local cheerleaders are jumping for joy Tuesday now that the Board of Regents has voted to classify cheerleading as an official high school sport.
Local cheerleaders and coaches will now be regulated just like any other high school sport. Cheering will also become safer because students wouldn’t be put into positions they couldn’t handle and all coaches would be certified.
Orchard Park High School cheerleading coach Lauren Bonilla says her district already independently recognizes cheering as a sport through Quaker Athletics. Bonilla says with it now an official sport, it gives athletes who perform dangerous pyramids, tosses, and tumbling the recognition they deserve.
Thirty-four other states as well as the District of Columbia already recognized cheering as a sport. In some of those states students are also competing for college scholarships and Bonilla thinks the same could happen here.
“Down south they already offer them so there’s definitely that opportunity and I think this will open up New York State and make the state more college cheerleading competitive,” said Bonilla.
The changes will take effect this winter.