Danielle Watkins, the coach of Leeds Dynamite Cheerleaders in Middleton has been appointed coach to the England ParaCheer Freestyle Pom team.
For those of you not familiar with the world of cheerleading, this means Danielle will be at the ICU World Championships in the United States next April. This is the sport’s Olympics or World Cup and England will be competing as defending champions.
Danielle won’t be travelling alone as fellow Dynamiter Kacie-Leigh Grimshaw has also been called up to dance as part of the squad.
ParaCheer, as the name suggests, involves teams where at least a quarter of the team have a disability. Danielle will be coaching technique as part of a team of five coaches. She told South Leeds Life:
“This means the absolute world to me, it’s a dream come true. I feel absolutely honoured to be representing my country. I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and passing on my knowledge and work with a fantastic group of coaches and athletes.”
Leeds Dynamite put out the following statement:
“Leeds Dynamite, are so so proud of our head coach Danielle and our dancer Kacie-Leigh. It means so much to us to have our girls represent us. We couldn’t think of anymore deserving people. They are so committed to this sport. We know they will do us proud.
“Danielle has been teaching and running Leeds Dynamite for 19 years this year and has worked so hard for it. Kacie started her dance journey with us at age 4. Now 15, she’s a perfect role model to represent Leeds Dynamite and now England as we’ve basically carved her in to the absolutely amazing dancer she is today. But boy has she worked for it!”
Both Danielle and Kacie-Leigh won their places amongst stiff competition at national auditions.
Whilst it is a great honour, it will also be a lot of work and expense. Squad training takes place twice a month in Coventry, together with the trip to Florida and competition fees, there will be little change from £2,000. Each.
The club are actively looking for financial support and commercial sponsorship, so if you can help these fantastic ambassadors for South Leeds compete on the world stage, please contact the club via social media or email: firstname.lastname@example.org