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Cheerleading May Soon Be an Official California Sport

Competitive cheerleading could soon be recognized an official sport in high schools in California.

On Monday, the California State Senate unanimously approved a bill (40-0) requiring the California Interscholastic Federation to oversee competitive cheerleading as it does other high school sports and to develop guidelines, procedures and safety standards for coaches, according to the AP.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, who is a former cheerleader herself, introduced bill AB949, which– if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown–would reportedly be implemented into schools by the 2017-2018 school year.

“This bill is about safety, access, equal opportunity and most of all respect,” Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who co-authored the bill said, according to the Los Angeles Times. He reportedly then broke into a little cheer of his own and said, “Go. Fight. Win.”

Other states that treat competitive cheerleading as an official high school sport include Michigan, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Alaska and Virginia.

Earlier this month, Gov. Brown signed another of Gonzalez’s bills, AB202, which requires professional sports teams to offer cheerleaders minimum wage, workers’ compensation, paid sick leave and rest breaks. Brown also reportedly performed as a cheerleader at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco in his youth..

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

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