TRENTON - (AP) - Cheerleading could officially be considered a sport in New Jersey.

A state Senate committee on Thursday approved a bill that classifies cheerleading as an athletic program under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The bill also calls for the association to require cheerleading coaches get safety training and to set forth guidelines regulating student participation as well as tournaments between schools.

The measure also requires health clubs that have at least six cheerleaders as members to have one safety harness for use by the squad.

The bill next goes to the full Senate for a vote. A similar bill has been introduced in the Assembly.