A WESTHOUGHTON cheer team is asking for support from the community after being selected to compete in Florida.

HeirForce Cheer have reached the semi-finals of The Summit, an international competition held at the ESPN World Wide of Sports in Orlando.

There will be hundreds of top teams from around the world, include Canada, Australia, and other UK teams.

Kat Madine, 30, started the cheerleading and dance programme in 2017, and has worked alongside Emily Waddilove, a coach for the team, to grown the troupe from 20 to 85 members.

She said: "We've never experienced anything like competing abroad and we only train for one hour a week.

"There's 16 youngsters on the team, our youngest is ten and the oldest is 16 and we have a few sets of sisters in there which is really lovely.

"This is a massive step for us and it would be great if we could find our own home so we can make it four teams instead of one."

The Bolton News:

The group are looking for sponsorship or donations to help them fund their trip at the start of May.

They intend to host raffles and other fundraising activities, as the trip will be very expensive.

Kat added: "We need to raise funds for travel costs, transport, training both in the UK and USA, music, team apparel and uniforms.

"Just to go over and compete at this competition as a team is going to cost around £20,000

"We will be going up against teams that have been training for this competition all year and we only have 55 days to get ready.

"The girls are phenomenal, we are so proud of them and they continue to rise to every challenge we set them.

"For coaches you want nothing more than to make your athletes dreams come true and for 16 of these girls this will become a reality when we step out on to the world floor."

The Bolton News:

It's not just the girls who are looking forwards to their upcoming trip.

Excited mum Kirsty Ozard contacted The Bolton News to promote the group's fundraising.

She said: “Everything’s coming so quickly, it’s only nine weeks away.

“It was the first international team and the first competition of the year.

“I don’t think any of us wanted to get our hopes up that we’d be chosen so none of us have saved up.”

The team are also looking for their own home, as they currently train at the leisure centre in Westhoughton.

They're searching for a unit that would be suitable for their needs to offer more classes in the area.

To sponsor the team, donate to their campaign, or let them know of any available space, email heirforcecheer@outlook.com.