JUBILANT cheerleaders are on their way to a national finals after a £5,000 fundraising campaign paid dividends.
The delighted members of the Hartlepool Hawks have spent weeks gathering in money so they could compete at the British National Championships which is being held in Telford on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5.
Academy founder Rebecca Taylor said the money was needed to pay for transport and fees as well as accommodation.
But the cheerleaders responded to the fundraising mission in style.
They held a 12-hour sponsored tumble, a fundraising night at Owton Manor Social Club and a race night.
They reached their target with six weeks to go to the big event and Rebecca said: “I want to say, on behalf of myself, coaches, committee, parents and children, a big thank you to everyone who helped support the Hawks to help them raise enough money to send our cheerleaders to the nationals.
“I cannot believe how much everyone got together and helped raise money in many different ways.
“We had parents organising bake sales, football cards, raffles, bonus balls. Children have been doing cake sales at school, selling loom bands.
“The Hawks managed to do bucket collecting in Sainsburys and Mister Twister while putting on performances and they also did bag packs in Morrisons.”
She said all the fundraising events were “a great success” and also praised the companies, councillors and local firms “for their donations or prizes for raffles. We really appreciate your support.”
Rebecca added: “Our competition entries have now been sent away to the British Cheerleading Association. Transport has been arranged and we are currently in the process of booking accommodation.
“The Hawks cheerleaders are ecstatic that their dream has came true and have now got an intense six weeks of training in preparation for nationals.”
The academy has already enjoyed huge success this year.
They took part in the Legacy’s Regional Championship called Stand Strong, held at Northumbria University, and gained a national qualification with the youth stunt group level 4 team .
l The contest will be held at the Olympic Park in July.