Cheerleading troupe The Jewels enjoyed a hugely successful time at the World Cheerleading Competition in Florida, returning to Bradford with a haul of gold medals.
The 14-strong group of athletes with learning disabilities represented the UK at the event, which is more commonly associated with able-bodied performers, and impressed the judges with their “great stunts”, “good tumbles” and “fantastic use of facial expressions”.
The squad won their place at the competition after performing at a national competition last year. After finding out they were going to Florida to compete at the international tournament, the squad had worked hard to perfect their 2 minute 15 second routine. As well as putting on their performance, the team also went to the final cheerleading party at Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom – and some had their photographs taken on the beach with their trophy and medals.
Glenn Stocks, project manager at Bradford District Care Trust said: “This is a huge achievement for our team - most have never competed in organised sport before. The crowds went wild when the Jewels performed the atmosphere was electrifying. We got the first standing ovation of the day. Everyone has had the time of their lives.”
Maureen Turner, one of the Jewels, said: “Everyone was standing up, cheering, clapping and crying they were all really proud. I loved it! We all got a big trophy and a medal.”