Westchester Cheerleaders Will Make Varsity As State Recognizes Sport

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Westchester high school cheer teams have competed for many years but are now a recognized competitive sport in New York State public schools.
Westchester high school cheer teams have competed for many years but are now a recognized competitive sport in New York State public schools. Photo Credit: Danny LoPriore

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County high school cheerleaders will compete competitively next year after the the Board of Regents announced Tuesday that it had approved cheering as a recognized sport in New York State.

The 19-0 vote followed a recommendation by the P-12 Education Committee Monday, April 29 to recognize cheerleading as a sport and could be on the winter scheduled for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) website announcement, it is the first time competitive cheerleading would be recognized in New York State and will provide the NYSPHSAA an opportunity to officially regulate the sport under its statewide umbrella. 

New York has been considering classifying cheerleading as an interscholastic sport since 2009. State officials say 34 states and the District of Columbia currently do so.

The NYSPHSAA plans to convene its cheerleading committee at the end of May to review the approval and set up a strategy for implementation within its membership.

“This is a great step for the progress of cheerleading and we truly appreciate the help, support and assistance of the New York State Education Department,” said Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director.  “The NYSPHSAA is excited to have competitive cheer recognized as a sport; today’s vote allows our association to implement coaching and safety standards for cheer coaches as well as highlight and promote the incredible athletes who participate in the sport with a championship event. Our association has been working on this initiative since 2009 and I am pleased to see the goal become a reality.”

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