Triumph for Leeds cheerleaders

Young Leeds cheerleaders have wiped the floor in a national competition – and now it looks like the adults want to get in on the act.

The four teams from Gipton Together, aged from seven to 18, came first in all four group categories at the British National Cheerleading championships in Blackpool competing under the name of Rizin Phoenix.

And a six-strong troupe of Cheermums made up of mothers of the young champs finished a creditable fifth out of 10 in their own category.

Terri Loney, chairwoman of Gipton Together, said: "We are proud of all our young people and the mums squad, and more importantly, the young people are very proud of their own achievements.

"We put out a challenge to the young people to get their mums to the same level of competition as them and they did very well."

The cheerleading teams, which were set up six yers ago, train twice a

week under qualified coaches at the Henry Barran community centre.

Terri said: "This is probably the best ever that we have done. Next year Rizin Phoenix will be the squad to beat.

"Cheerleading teaches the youngsters leadership skills, they keep fit and have fun at the same time."

One of the Cheermums is 33-year-old Jane Coultas, whose daughter Chloe triumphed in the 10-to-12-year category.

She said: "We all thought we should have a go doing it.

"It's good for exercise and socialising with friends, it's a laugh and being in competitions is a bonus."

The next big challenge for Rizin Phoenix is the International Cheerleaders Competition to be staged in Nottingham in July next year.

Gipton Together is a community association which runs clubs and events for east Leeds residents – including Gipton's annual gala.

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