Cheerleaders take on the world at US championships

Lazer Cheer's Ice Queens team.

Cheerleaders from the district have taken on the world’s best and competed for their country at three events in the US.

Seven girls from Colburn-based Lazer Cheer Academy were selected to compete for England at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships 2024 held every April at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida, on April 24 and 25.

The event sees countries from around the globe brought together to compete.

Divisions are split by both age group and ability. This year, four Lazer Cheer athletes were selected for the Youth All-Girl Advanced team and three joined the Junior All-Girl Elite, with both teams in the highest division that their ages allowed.

Chelsea Foreman, Lazer Cheer, said: “Team England took three teams to compete at the ICU Worlds this year which was 72 athletes in total.

“To have seven of these athletes come from our small gym in North Yorkshire is an outstanding achievement and we could not be prouder of them.

“As this was training for the national team our athletes had to commit to lots of travel as part of their training.

“They would train in smaller groups at our gym in Colburn regularly but would have to travel to Coventry or London every month or two to take part in a few days of training residential.”

The girls got to take part in an Olympic-style opening ceremony where athletes Lucy, Eva, and Charlotte were chosen to hold the signs and flags for England and the United Kingdom.

Eva was also chosen by her coaches to be a team captain of the youth all-girl team.

“Eva is a fantastic role model and leader to our athletes at Lazer Cheer Academy and we are so happy that the national team coaches recognise and celebrate the great qualities that she brings to the sport,” Chelsea added.

After two days of gruelling competition, the junior team won bronze while the all-girl elite team managed to beat Team USA and finished first.

Chelsea added: “This is the first season we have had any athletes compete for Team England Cheer so to be walking away with all seven as medallists is a huge achievement for them personally and for us as a club.

“The other athletes in our program look up to these athletes like they are celebrities now and we have already had them in our gym in their Team England uniforms, medals and rings to inspire the next wave of athletes into seeing what opportunities are possible through our sport of sheerleading.

“2024 is a year that athletes Sienna, Eva, Rose, Skylar, Lacey, Charlotte and Lucy made history for Lazer Cheer and it is one we will never forget.”

The seven Team England athletes from Lazer Cheer.

 

Two days after the world championships. Lazer Cheer had 18 athletes competing as the Ice Queens in The Open Orlando 2024 championships at Universal Studios. 

The team completed a two minute 30 second routine for a panel of judges.

Their routine is judged on both how difficult it is and on how well they perform it.

After an incredible day one performance where they hit zero, meaning they got zero deductions because they hit their routine perfectly, they were sitting in first in their division, and they had the second highest score of the entire competition.

Chelsea added: “Our athletes did have some downtime that afternoon where they were able to enjoy the theme park and celebrate their amazing routine from that day. They returned the following day to put out another great performance of their routine which gained them first place in their division.

“As winners, they received a large banner for the team and they also each received a champion ring to wear with pride and celebrate their achievements.” 

The cheerleaders with their rings after the Open Orlando Championship.

 Although they had been crowned winners of The Open Orlando, the team had to get straight back in the gym the following day to prepare for their final competition of the trip – The Summit.

For this event, teams have to win bids in their home countries to qualify.

The Ice Queens won their bid last June at a competition in Liverpool.

The team has athletes from age 11 all the way to 17.

Cheslsea said: “They received a large banner for qualifying for this prestigious event and because their routine was faultless they also received a ‘Peak Performance’ award. Athletes were awarded with a ‘Hit Zero’ badge to celebrate their no-deduction performance and they also got a large medal each.

“We were in an incredibly tough division but we are really proud that we managed to hit our routine perfectly at our first-ever time at The Summit and we are happy that we managed to outscore 24 other teams in our division too.”