Three cheers? No, eight for Rotherham squad returning from world championships

The squad from Rotherham performing in FloridaThe squad from Rotherham performing in Florida
The squad from Rotherham performing in Florida
A CHEERLEADING squad have returned from the world championships in Florida after coming eighth – and as the only UK team to place in their division.

The Regal team from Rotherham Cheerleading Academy won their spot in the 2024 International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championships in Orlando after they were crowned grand champions at the DC12 Cheerleading contest in Leicester last June – in what was only their third competitive performance.

The prize was a place in the World Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Orlando which saw the group of 18 girls and one boy all aged between 11 and 17, swap their Parkgate training base for the gym at the Top Gun All Stars of Orlando Cheerleading and Dance Centre.

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The ICU World Cheerleading Championships brings together the best cheer squads from around the globe who all perform a two-and-a-half-minute long routine, including dancing, gymnastic tumbles, acrobatic stunts, jumps, flips and pyramids, in front of a panel of judges who score on how score difficult the moves are, and how well they are completed.

The RTC squad at Manchester AirportThe RTC squad at Manchester Airport
The RTC squad at Manchester Airport

And while there were a couple of gold medals and a bronze for teams from England and Wales, RCA's squad were the only UK team in their particular division.

RCA coach Megan McNeal said: “There were 84 teams across several divisions and we came eighth – there were no other UK teams in our division, it was all American teams.

“In the US, cheer is everything.

“Here it is still growing so the team were so shocked (at coming eighth).

The Rotherham Regal team in FloridaThe Rotherham Regal team in Florida
The Rotherham Regal team in Florida

“It was the best I've ever seen them perform.

“They were so excited, they did so well.

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“Coming from such a small town, this was something we hoped the team would get to one day, to aspire to.

“We never did think we would be taking a team this year.”

RCA will be returning next year and plans to take four teams to the international tournament, with the youngest member aged eight.

Added Megan: “Now they've experienced the event and know what it feels like, they are working harder than ever.

“We are just so proud.”

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