CHEERLEADER Kayla McBryde did her country proud at an international tournament in Florida by helping her team secure an impressive fourth place overall.
Kayla, aged 12 and from Blakeney, competes at a high level in the sport of Adaptive Abilities Cheerleading, which brings together disabled and non-disabled athletes to perform cheer routines.
Having been selected to represent England at this year’s ICU World Championships in Florida, she recently helped the team secure fourth in the world in their “advanced level” category.
Dean Academy pupil Kayla almost didn’t make it to the US after a technical hitch on a fundraising page she’d set up to help her get there, as the sport is self-funded, meant all of the donations she’d received had to be refunded.
But thankfully, she still managed to raise enough from sponsors to send her to Florida to compete in the championships.
Her dad Adrian commented: “I would like to thank everyone for the help and support in getting Kayla there for the best experience of her life, she had an amazing time.”
He said of the team’s performance: “We were 0.2 points away from getting bronze and 1.4 points away from getting gold. And we got into the finals on the second day which was amazing.”
Kayla was straight back to it on her return from the states, competing for three teams from the Gloucestershire Cheerleading Academy in Coventry last week, coming first, first and second across three categories.
Kayla’s role in cheer routines is as a ‘flyer’, performing stunts in the air, and she 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.
The ICU World Championships welcomes 100 member nations to participate.
Kayla and her team mates competed and trained at some of the top-rated cheer clubs in the USA over two weeks.
She previously commented: “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 could”.