In Minnesota, we aren't considered a sport. We aren't even considered ANYTHING by our athletic department. The only way we get funding, gym space, or anything else, is if we share it with the sideline teams. Sideline teams are considered part of the NFHS and we are not.
This, however, doesn't mean anything to the student body. My girls are very successful in what they do, and the student body, for the most part, respects them. They see my girls in the weight room, running endlessly around the track, in the trainer for injuries, and practicing everyday just like any other sport at the school. Some football players once commented that the comp cheerleaders run more than they do.
Being a sport means that we can't travel to nationals, and can't practice all year round. So for now, not being labeled an official sport is fine as long as my kids are happy. However, it seems like at the school in the article, needs to take steps towards making it a sport. I hope they understand the consequences and are happy with the result.
Our squad does competition and sideline both. While the girls enjoy games, they're mostly there for the competition part of it. Luckily we get nothing but respect from the school, admin, and community. The students see our kids out running every afternoon, multiple banners in the gym and our overflowing trophy case right by the front door of the school so they get that they work hard and consider it a "sport" so to say. I think our football coach - who loves cheerleaders and has his boys give them a round of applause after every game - also helps with the school's perspective. I agree with coach.elle I hope our state doesn't consider it a sport anytime soon. It would change so much of how we do things and I don't think for the better. There are some perks to being classified a "sport" but imo those don't outweigh the drawbacks we would face!