A CHEERLEADING group from west Cumbria is set to take on a major challenge as they head to the States next week.

Cheer Force Knights Maryport will be taking their team to Florida to compete in an international cheerleading competition.

They will be heading to America on Monday, April 24, for two weeks, to compete in the contest.

On Friday, April 14, the group met up for one last send-off before the trip.

Parents, friends, and family came along to the centre in Maryport to encourage them and cheer them on whilst they performed their routine.

The club's director Olivia Scholey, previously told the Times & Star: "We entered our certain division on Sunday, May 22, 2022 and were the highest scorers of the whole competition putting us into first place and were given the Grand Champion Award.

Times and Star: The cheerleaders pose for photos The cheerleaders pose for photos (Image: Newsquest)

"This meant that we were awarded a bid to compete at a prestigious event called the summit in Florida."

Olivia explained that all of the kids are very excited to be given such an opportunity but at the same time they are still quite nervous. 

This is because they will be competing with major American teams whilst in Florida. 

"I am still confident that they'll all do really well, it is such an amazing achievement in itself to get this far," she said.

"Whatever happens when we are there will only add on to everything that we've achieved so far.

"We've been raising money to pay for the children's entry fees and we've now reached our total of £17,000.

Times and Star: The cheerleaders pose for a photo The cheerleaders pose for a photo (Image: Newsquest)

"We already had the bid to go to the competition in Florida because it's a big competition so we upgraded to a paid bid so they're going to pay for our entry fees now as well.

"All the coaches are so proud of the kids and how hard they've worked to get to where they are right now."

The club offers weekly classes that are available in recreational gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. Cheer Force Knights also have a branch in Carlisle.