A YOUNGSTER who hopes to cheer for England at an international tournament next month is reaching out to those who pledged nearly £1,500 to help her get there - after all the money raised had to be refunded.
As the sport is self-funded, the 12 year-old had set up a GoFundMe page to raise £1,500 to go towards travel, accommodation, food and uniform for the championships, which is estimated to cost £2,500.
But after the community helped her raise £1,450 towards the total, a technical hitch on the page has put her dream of getting to Florida in doubt.
Kayla’s grandmother, who is 80, was the admin for the GoFundMe account, but had used her expired driving licence - which was revoked five years ago for safety reasons - as photo ID to verify it.
There was also confusion about the date by which the information had to be verified, and as the deadline passed, GoFundMe was unable to hold the funds any longer, and refunded the donors.
GoFundMe says while it is unable to re-charge the donors through a new fundraising page, it is doing everything it can to help Kayla, her dad Adrian and family recoup the lost funds by appealing to their supporters.
Once the account is verified, the site will send an email to the refunded donors explaining what happened, and appealing to them to donate again as they had intended.
Adrian is looking to make as many people aware as possible so the mix-up doesn’t stop Kayla competing at the championships.
The sport of adaptive abilities cheerleading - also known as para cheer - brings together both disabled and non-disabled athletes to create an inclusive routine of stunts, dance and tumbling.
Kayla, who at 12 is the youngest member of the England team, is a ‘flyer’ who performs stunts in the air, 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.
The ICU World Championships welcomes 100 member nations to participate, and would see Kayla compete and train at some of the top-rated cheer clubs in the USA over two weeks.
On being selected for the tournament, Kayla said: 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 could”.