A CHEERLEADER at the University of Worcester has been awarded a scholarship to support her bid to win two world titles in one week.
Rachel Edwards, who studies sport and exercise science, is an international cheerleader with Team England and has flown out to Florida to compete in both the International Cheerleading Union (ICU) and the United States All Star Federation (USASF) championships.
Both competitions were being held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Competing in the sport since the age of 11, the now 21-year-old has been awarded £400 by the university’s scholarship panel to help meet the costs of her title ambitions.
She said: “Competitive cheerleading is a tough, physical sport. There are stunts, tumbles, jumps, and overall style to blend together.
“I’ve always done competitive sport from a young age, and cheerleading is as tough as any I’ve done.
“It has certainly given me a high level of fitness, not to mention confidence and self-belief.
“The ICU champs see each country enter one team. I have been selected to compete by Team England.
“The ICUs most resemble the Olympics.
“The USASF competition is for club teams from around the world, and you qualify by winning your own national championships. I’ll be competing with my club, Coventry Dynamite.”
Rachel added: “There is no sponsorship support or funding within cheerleading.
“All the athletes pay for flights, accommodation, even their kit and the tournament entry fees.
“Without this scholarship, this opportunity may not have become a reality.”