Ribblesdale High School cheerleaders triumph in Blackpool

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IT HAS been a busy year for cheerleaders at Ribblesdale High School Technology College, who are continuing to add silverware to their bulging trophy cabinet.

As well as 43 young members successfully completing medal exams in December, they have entered two national competitions since Christmas with the Year 8 to 11 squad competing for the first time in team as well as solo events.

In order to fully prepare for the competitions, they have had a training session at their link dance school – Sanderson Dance and Fitness Centre, Nelson, as well as every Friday after school for up to two hours.

Their hard work paid off when they enjoyed continued success at both events held in March at the Grand Ballroom, Blackpool Tower and more recently at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

In total, 37 pupils travelled to Blackpool Tower and achieved their best results to date bringing back seven trophies.

Year 7 pupils in particular were outstanding in only their second competition. They were: Leoni Langford, Debbie Alty, Abi Boothman Lily Peel, Emily Billington, Toyah Clifton and Jess Rushworth.

The following eight pupils all reached the semi-finals stages in their respective age groups; Katie Edmundson, Rebecca Myhill, Rebecca Pilkington, Georgia Flynn, Abbie Barton, Leah Burke, Rebecca Brown and Rosie Rainford.

The Year to 11 squad then competed in the under-17 team event and performed extremely well in their first ever competition. Thirty-three competitors travelled to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, during the Easter holidays and once again all pupils were great ambassadors for the school.

Six pupils were placed in the finals; Rebecca Hardacre, Sumaiyah Atif, Abbie Barton, Daisy Huntoon, Toyah Clifton, Jess Rushworth, Rosie Rainford, Tiffany Hunter and Lucy Myers.

As well as competing in the squad, which now has over 50 members, the cheerleaders have been busy fund-raising towards transport costs and subsidised entry fees for competitions. Over two recent weekends, they “bag-packed” in the local Sainsbury’s stores and raised £500 in Sainsbury’s Clitheroe and another £450 at Sainsbury’s Burnley.

Teacher, Dawn Robinson, would like to say a huge thank you to Julie Woodhead and her team in Clitheroe and to Barbara Gill and the staff in Burnley, for allowing the girls to come into the store and, of course, to all the local shoppers for their generosity.

She added: “Without local community support it would be very difficult to fund the squad, which is going from strength-to-strength. Pupils have now competed in five competitions over the past 18 months and their medal haul has topped 30, which is outstanding.

“The girls will continue to work hard up until the summer break as Year 7 pupils will now work hard to be incorporated into the team. “They have another training session over at their link dance school and more competition at Hyndburn Sports Centre in June before taking their next medal tests over at Sanderson’s Burnley in July.”

Dawn also thanked Liz Heaton and Julia Billington for continuing to give up their time by assisting at the competitions and to Gemma Bynert over at Sanderson’s for her continued support and for choreographing the squad’s first team dance.