Soaring costs may deprive dancers of chance to compete

The Black Diamonds Cheerleaders in training

The Black Diamonds Cheerleaders in training

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TWO Lothians cheerleading troupes fear soaring costs could leave them grounded ahead of representing Scotland in the Euro Championships.

East Calder-based EC Allsteps, and Black Diamond Cheerleaders, from Penicuik, each brushed aside the competition to clinch first place in their respective categories at the recent Scotcheer regional finals in Dundee.

But now they face their tallest order – funding the June trip to Amsterdam.

Run by Vicky Hamilton, EC Allsteps will have two groups aged from 13-25 competing in both the junior and senior hip-hop categories at the competition. Vicky said: “It’s a great honour to represent your country. We’re all really looking forward to getting across there and competing.

“This whole trip should cost us around £7000, but it will be well worth it, the girls will most definitely do Scotland proud.”

For the relatively newly formed Black Diamond Cheerleaders and owner Gillian Samuel, the chance to represent Scotland marks a stellar rise which has seen the 50-member club amass an impressive 120 trophies in just three short years.

Ten girls aged 12-16 will compete in the junior pom category against fellow cheerleaders from across Europe.

Gillian said: “The easy bit seems to have been winning the competition, but we now have to raise £4000 to get the girls over there and put them up for two nights.

“We also have to buy some new uniforms and equipment as we don’t want to represent Scotland in natty uniforms.

“We have a host of fundraising ideas, though, such as a race night and a disco, plus we’ve also applied to Midlothian Council for a grant.

“The girls are over the moon to be representing their country. Don’t be fooled, though, cheerleading isn’t just standing around shaking your pom-poms. All of the cheerleaders have to be both fit and strong. It’s a very athletic sport, one which is actually being considered for inclusion in the Olympics.”

Those wishing to dig deep and help the girls out with their fundraising can do so by contacting the groups at www.ecallstepscheerleaders.co.uk and www.blackdiamonds-cheer.co.uk