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Future in doubt for South Leeds Starlight Majorettes

South Leeds Starlight Majorettes.

South Leeds Starlight Majorettes.

  • by Jamie Smith
 

The South Leeds Starlight Majorettes has putting youngsters in the spotlight since 2000, but now the community group may have to close due to lack of funding and support.

The group used to be able to provide its services to the Beeston community free of charge, but more recently has had to ask youngsters to pay £2 to take part.

Helen Stott Wright, the manager of the majorettes, said: “We struggle to make ends meet in a deprived area.

“Having to charge our members, who are often from low income families, is not the way we want to work.

“We used to be funded by the British Heart Foundation, who appreciated us teaching the girls to stay healthy, be hygenic and say no to drugs, but now that money has gone.”

The group is part of the St Luke’s Cares Youth Division in Beeston which helps around 400 young people every week, providing a variety of activities including street dance, baton twirling, cheerleading, football and girls’ rugby.

The troupe has taken part in a number of competitions in the past, winning several trophies and medals including All England Championship prizes in the tinies, tots, juniors and seniors categories.

Now lower numbers and reduced funding mean it is difficult for the majority of the group to raise the money and make it to the major competitions.

The girls are working their way to this year’s all England competition at Primrose Valley by packing bags, holding sponsored walks and running raffles to raise money.

The small fundraisers and weekly charges are helpful but they say the main thing the majorettes need is a sponsor.

Helen said: “We were at our best when we could provide free classes to everyone. We had more members and we could meet the quotas for the bigger competitions.

“The majorettes have all the energy and eagerness to go on working and winning.

“If we had a sponsor, we could achieve all of this again and they would have our gratitude and support in return.”

The majorettes will welcome any new faces at their training sessions at St Luke’s Church, Malvern Road, Beeston on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4pm to 8pm.

Three to 12-year-olds are welcome from 4pm to 6.30pm and the older girls join in from 6pm until 8pm.

Beginners can come and give it a twirl on Saturdays from 11am until 1pm.

Anyone who is interested in taking part or helping the majorettes through sponsorship should email Helen Wright on: helen.wright1@live.co.uk for more information.

 

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