Champion Carlisle cheerleaders to live the American dream

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CHEERLEADERS from Carlisle are heading over the pond to fulfil their American dream.

For the first time members of Cheer Force Knights have secured a place at the cheerleading world championships.
The 2018 championships will take place in Orlando, Florida in late April next year.

The troupe's most experience team - the 17-strong Cheer Force Odyssey - have clinched their place at the competition after all the Cheer Force Knights squads travelled to Liverpool recently for Jamfest Europe.

They were taking on the best from across the UK and Europe and every Cheer Force Knights team apart from one secured a podium finish.

Jonny Kirkby, from the Newtown Road-based operation, said: "For us, worlds is the Olympics of cheerleading.

"Our flagship team Cheer Force Odyssey, which competes at the highest level, competed against 12 other teams from around Europe to take home the invite to our most prestigious event in the cheerleading calendar.

"It's every cheerleader's goal to go to worlds. Everyone in our gym from the six year old minis to our senior athletes are buzzing from this recent success. The energy in the gym has been electric with athletes pushing themselves to learn new skills."

Jonny is head coach of the city cheerleading group along with his sister Beth.

Jamfest Europe marked the end of the competition season.

Cheer Force Knights will now focus their efforts on welcoming new members from Monday (JULY 10) ahead of the next season starting in September.

They aren't the only Cumbrian cheerleaders to go Stateside in recent years to compete on the world stage.

In April University of Cumbria first-year PE student Daniela Dawkins, from Brampton, headed Stateside as part of the England squad competing in this year's World Cup championships.

She was one of 9,000 cheerleaders and 3,500 dance athletes from around the world to take part.

Other cheerleading groups from the city have also successfully secured places to compete at world events in recent years.

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