A GROUP of pom-pom twirling students have set their sights on victory in a major cheerleading championship after scooping a prestigious UK award.
Edinburgh University Cheerleading Club Vixens were crowned champions at the recent British Cheerleading Association (BCA) Nationals in Telford attended by more than 20,000 cheerleaders.
The competition is the largest of its kind in Europe.
And now the 33-member panel of girls is looking to raise £13,000 so it can compete at an event in Paris next March. As the team is a newly formed club, it receives no funding from university chiefs.
EUCC president Amie Rose Farrington said: “We became a sports club less than two years ago and university rules state you must be able to show a two-year membership to receive funding.
“Next year we’ll be OK but this year we’re having to fund ourselves in terms of travel, uniforms and the use of sports halls for training. It’s quite challenging.”
So far the girls have raised £5000 towards their Paris fund and hope to raise more when they host a showcase performance with several other dance, cheer and gymnastic squads from around the Capital at the Pleasance on February 12.
Amie added: “We hope to both raise money and increase community involvement with the showcase. Of course we would be extremely grateful if anyone could help us out by donating raffle prizes.
“For winning the national champs we won an invite to compete at the worlds in the USA, but we’d never have afforded that so we’ve settled on Paris instead.
“We’re not going there to make up the numbers either – we fancy our chances of winning it.”
Competitive cheerleading is far from the pom-pom waving girls seen in US sports, and is a highly athletic sport which combines elements of gymnastics, acrobatics and dance.
Choreographed routines can involve daredevil stunts, which often see the smaller members of the squad being thrown and caught by their team-mates.
The sport is growing rapidly in the UK and is offered in many schools as a way of keeping teenagers interested in exercise and fitness.
Those wishing to donate to the Vixens can contact Amie at firstname.lastname@example.org