Not all hobbies are sports. Similarly, not all sports are hobbies. Likewise, not all people who participate in hobbies are athletes.
I believe that athletes come in two categories. Amature and Professional. Everyone else is a hobbiest.
A professional athlete is a person is who paid to perform the activity and it is nearly always the sole source of income. Their performance is usually to entertain others.
An amature is a person who competes within a structured organization or by bylaws and guidelines, who may or may not receive some earnings or awards, but it is not the sole income or career for the person. They may be trying to achieve professional ranks. These people dedicate nearly all of their time to their amature ranking and the hopes of a professional ranking.
A hobbiest is a person who performs the activity, without pay, and without the guidelines of an organization. They have time and money contraints in which to enjoy the sport.
Notice I never spoke about accomplishment, skill, or level of training? A hobbiest can be very very very good at the sport, but that doesn't make him or her a professional.
Golf is a good example. If a person plays 18 holes of golf 7 days a week but works in an office environment as an executive, is he an athlete? No, he is a hobbiest who has a strong passion for golf and is in really good body shape (one would assume.)
Another analogy would be photography. Or hockey.
By calling a hobbyiest an "athlete", I think you dilute the definition of an athlete. I ride nearly 7 days a week. That doesn't make me an athlete.
For those of you that are competing in local and regional shows, I would call you an amature.
Those who compete in cross-country, national, and the olympics.... Athletes.
My stepdaughter started gymnastics yesterday. She barely has the upper body strength to do the base bar stretches more than 4 times without having to shake off her arms and wrists. Working next to her was a girl who has been in daily training for 4 years and demonstrates it.
Gymnastics is an athletic sport. However, at this point, calling my stepdaughter an athlete after 1 lesson would be a complete insult to the little girl who won state last year and has dedicated every day of the past 4 years to competition and training.
Will my stepdaughter one day be an athlete? Maybe. Or, she may just enjoy her weekly 60 minute lesson at which point, she will be a hobbiest with patient parents.
Please be honest when giving yourself a title that people dedicate an enormous amount of resources to achieve.