The King’s School has been selected to represent Great Britain in the World Cheerleading Championships.
The international blue-ribbon event will take place at Disney World in Florida in February next year. It will be the second time King’s has been awarded the exclusive honour, with the King’s team achieving a brilliant second place finish for GB in 2014.
However, top gymnastics, trampoline and cheerleading coach Rachael Burrows, who is recovering from an achilles tendon injury, doesn’t anticipate going one better five years later.
“Second place in 2014 was a fantastic result, but after the U.S., where cheerleading is rightly recognised as a top-class, high-performance sport, it will be difficult to improve. So we are just hoping to have as good a performance as last time but with the standards improving every year, we know this will be tough.”
King’s won the race to represent GB after Rachael submitted a video to the American organisers of their national winning performance at the GB championships.
She said: “Even to be allowed to compete in the World Championships you have to demonstrate outstanding technical excellence, creative team-work and an abiding passion for the sport.”
32 King’s girls aged from 12 to 17 will fly out to Florida next year. The girls practise at the Maximum Cheer Club run at King’s but for the wider community with nearly 200 youngsters taking part in after school sessions at the Fence Avenue site three time each week.
Rachael added: “We are slowly but surely dispelling the patronising myth that Cheerleading is poncing around with pompoms. You need both natural aptitude and highly developed skills to display the flexibility, strength, athletic conditioning, courage and team-work necessary to compete at the highest level. It takes a special type of dedication to achieve polished performances.”
King’s has starred at every national Cheerleading Championships since 2008, when Rachael began developing the sport at the top Macclesfield school. “We have always had at least one national champion team and are now recognised as a pan European centre of excellence.”