Sussex Tornados cheerleaders have been named grand champions for the first time in their 20-year history.
Lianne Blackwood and Helen Best, who formed the group with the help of parents, are delighted to see how far they have come.
Lianne said: “We are so proud that not only is the Sussex Tornados still going strong 20 years on but has grown to be a huge part of the community, with many athletes local and some travelling from as far as Midhurst to train and compete.”
The junior and senior teams travelled to Cardiff to compete at the Legacy Cheer and Dance Inspire Greatness super regional championship.
Lianne said: “They returned with a first, second and fourth place, which we were over the moon about, but to top it off, they returned grand champions.
“This is a first in 20 years and means they scored the highest score out of all that competed in all age levels in level one.”
The group has its own premises in Arndale Road, Wick, and opens six days a week.
Lianne said: “This gives children and young adults somewhere to go while becoming part of a team, learning life skills for future life, keeping fit and providing opportunities and travel that without us may not be possible.
“We always try and support local charity events where possible, like cheering on the runners from Great Ormand Street Hospital at the Brighton Marathon.”
Lianne and Helen have taken a step back since having their own families, so Carley Johnson is now responsible for the day-to-day running of the group.
Lianne said: “We are so grateful to her and all our coaches for the time they give up and the energy they put in to making it a success and this achievement just shows how much hard work she puts in all for the love of the sport.
“Sussex Tornados is a completely voluntary, registered charity, and will continue to be hopefully long into the future.
“We are extremely proud of how hard our athletes train and what they have proved they can achieve, now and over the years.”
Try-out sessions will be held from July 2 for four weeks for anyone aged five and over. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or find Sussex Tornados Cheerleaders on Facebook.
Lianne said: “Everyone will be placed on a team based on age and ability but no-one will be turned away. We have always, and will always, promote sport for all.
“We also have a Cheer 4 Fun team that runs on a Wednesday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, for those wanting less commitment and expense, as this is a pay-as-you-go squad at £4.50 per session.”
Sussex Tornados’ seven teams have three more competitions before the start of the 21st season.