A team of cheerleaders who have been supported by two North Yorkshire councillors are hoping to add national glory to a world championship title.

The East Coast Tigers have been backed by Cllr Tony Randerson and Cllr Eric Broadbent, who have used funds from their locality budgets to help them in their efforts.

Based in Eastfield, near Scarborough, the Tigers have 174 athletes aged from four to 25, all bar one of whom are girls. Some train recreationally and others competitively.

In 2022, three out of five of the club’s teams won national titles, while last year each team achieved that feat.

However, that was surpassed last month when the Tigers senior team won the Senior Level 1 category at the All Star World Championships in Florida.

This weekend they are set to compete at the British Cheerleading Association Nationals in Telford.

“The BCA Nationals are massive,” said lead coach Jess Mortimer. “We have never been before. It’s quite expensive and we try to stick to the cheaper competitions. But to be honest, the kids are so good we wanted them to have a real challenge.

“We have a lot of work to do and we only train once a week. So far this season we are undefeated, so the pressure is on really. But the standard is high and although we have high standards, something can go wrong in the blink of an eye.

“All we ever hope for is for the athletes to do their best. It is called ‘hitting zero’. If there are no deductions your routine has hit zero and that’s what everybody aims for. You cannot do better than that.”

Coaches Chelsea Baxter and Olivia Hall accompanied the senior team and a team of juniors to the USA as Miss Mortimer could not travel as she is expecting a baby.

“It was a big achievement just to get there because you have to be chosen to attend. We didn’t expect to be world champions, we didn’t expect to make it through to the finals, to be honest,” she said.

Miss Mortimer said there were a lot of misconceptions about cheerleading.

“A lot of people think it is standing at the side of a football field and cheering, but it is not like that. It is far more diverse than that,” she said.

“The routines involve a number of disciplines; stunting, where athletes lift other athletes, gymnastics, jumps and dance and they take place over two-and-half minutes.

“We train the routine from September and then compete it throughout the season, which runs until July. So much hard work goes into it for just two-and-a-half minutes.”

Each North Yorkshire Council member has a budget of £10,000 per year, allowing them to fund activities in their areas.

Cllr Randerson has given the Tigers a total of £3,000 towards gym hire and equipment, while Cllr Broadbent contributed £4,950 from his fund towards coaching qualifications and the cost of uniforms worn at the World Championships.

“The help the councillors have given the team has been amazing,” said Miss Mortimer. “It has really helped us out, so we are really grateful to both of them.”

Cllr Randerson said it was important that the council supported local clubs and organisations.

“I think they have been brilliant, and their achievement should be recognised far and wide,” he said. “These coaches give up their time for free and do such an amazing job. It is fantastic that all their hard work has paid off and I was glad to be able to help them achieve their goal.”

Cllr Broadbent said it was a privilege to play a small part in the team’s success.

“What the East Coast Tigers have achieved is amazing,” he said. “They have put Eastfield and Scarborough on the world map, and I am sure there are even bigger things ahead for them.”

For more information on the East Coast Tigers visit www.eastcoasttigers.co.uk.