AN AWARD-WINNING cheerleader is all smiles after scooping gold in the Cheerleading World Championships.
North Leamington School student Ella Ford recently headed to Florida with the rest of the England all girl junior squad to compete in the international competition for those aged 12 to 16.
The 16-year-old – who was joined on the squad by three members from her local Coventry Dynamite team – also celebrated her birthday on the day she helped take home the gold, after see off stiff competition from Japan and Austria.
She said: “It was a surreal experience winning a gold medal for your country.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity and the support from both Coventry Dynamite and Team England coaches. All of the hard work was worth it.”
The team will now qualify for the elite division in 2020, competing at the highest level alongside the United States.
But the hard work for Ella does not stop there – as she is hoping cheerleading will soon be made into an Olympic sport, and if it does then she wants a place on the team.
Cheerleading was granted provisional Olympic status three years ago meaning it could make its official debut at the Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028 games.
Ella added: “I definitely think it will become an Olympic sport once people are made aware of the intensity and skill involved. I would love to have the opportunity to try out for the team.”