A GROUP of young champions found plenty to cheer about this month.

Maryport’s Cheer Force Knights were only formed in 2020 and the Covid pandemic meant that their initial routines had to be learnt and rehearsed over Zoom and via video calls.

Yet, the group members did not let tbhat deter them, and they won several prizes at a cheerleading event in December, and they have now come away with nine firsts, two Grand Champion awards and the ultimate Best Execution award – for the best routine of the competition.

The event, in Blackpool, was the JamfestUK, one of several cheerleading competitions around the country.

Two weeks ago, the cheerleaders, aged from just over three up, won events at the ICE festival in Newcastle and, in December, at the British Cheerleading Association competition.

Olivia Scholey, who set up the group was a member of Blue Star, a successful cheerleading group.

She said: “I started cheering when I was about three. I am now 21 and I still love it.”

Olivia hosts classes most days of the week, and on alternate Saturdays.

She said: “We have boys and girls. Some are training for competitions and some are learning. We have 165 cheerleaders registered at the moment and take new people in when there are places available.”

Proud parent Lisa Douglas, who accompanies the team on most of its trips said: “They just work together so well. You can tell by the end of a routine that it is a winner. They perform perfectly.”