A GIRL from the Forest is set to be the youngest member of the team representing England in inclusive cheerleading at the world championships in Florida this year.

But as the sport is self-funded, 12 year-old Kayla Macbryde, who lives in Blakeney, is asking the community to help her raise £1,000 to make the trip possible.

Kayla, who goes to The Dean Academy in Lydney, competes at elite level in the sport of adaptive abilities cheerleading - also known as para cheer - which brings together both disabled and non-disabled athletes to create an inclusive routine of stunts, dance and tumbling.

She has been selected to represent her country in this year’s International Cheer Union (ICU) World Championships, which welcomes more than 100 member nations to participate.

Kayla is a ‘flyer’ who performs stunts in the air as part of the routine, and is also an elite tumbler.

With the help of dad Adrian, she travels to clubs in Gloucester and Bristol most days to complete more than 15 hours a week of training, as well as travelling to London on several occasions to train with the national team.

Kayla in action as a 'flyer' during a routine (Pic supplied)

Kayla has been doing cheer since she was six years old and working with people in wheelchairs since 2020.

Adrian says that competing at the world championships in Florida, which will take place in April, is a “dream come true” for Kayla.

Kayla said: “I am very proud of representing Team England in para cheer and was amazed to get the chance to go to Florida and represent England in the worlds.

“I love this team and working with people with disabilities and hidden disabilities, it’s amazing to see their faces when they can do something they never thought they coukd”.

Though the sport is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the ICU is the world governing body, no funding is available to help Kayla compete in Florida.

She will need to be there for 14 days in all for training at some of the top named clubs in the USA ahead of the championships.

The trip comes at a big expense, with flights, accommodation, travel, food and uniforms estimated to cost £2,500.

And that’s just for Kayla, with the family also having to pay for a parent to go with her on the trip.

She is hoping to raise £1,000 to contribute to her expenses, and has set up a go fund me page where people can donate, which can be found at www.gofund.me/91b490a2.