Cheering on the Hartlepool girls as they take on the best in Europe
Two Hartlepool girls will be on the plane to Austria this week as they get ready to compete as part of a national cheerleading squad.
Talented town pair Leah Wintersgill, 12, and Katie Wise, 14, have spent the last year training for the European Cheerleading Championships which will be held in Vienna.
They are part of the Team England Pom team and qualified for the national squad in 2015.
Now, their big moment arrives and they will be competing this weekend at the Multiversum in Schwechat.
An audience of around 3,000 people will be watching 3,000 contestants compete for 24 trophies.
Leah and Katie are part of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleading academy.
Its founder Rebecca Taylor said: “They have been training a year for this prestigious competition, travelling to Telford and London each month to train with the rest of their team. Leah is part of the junior duet and Katie is part of the senior pom team. Both are flying the flag for Hartlepool and England.
“The girls have also been working hard to raise money to get them to Vienna to make their dream come true.”
Katie is no stranger to international competition.
Last year, the Manor Academy student competed in the European Championships in Slovenia.
Rebecca added: “I am very proud of both my girls, I will be their guardian for this trip and looking forward to sharing this experience with them.
“They have both been training with me along time and it has been an amazing journey, watching them grow and develop into the amazing athletes they are today.”
Once the competition is over, the girls will continue their training as they prepare for the International Cheerleading Championships which will be held in Orlando in Florida in 2017.
But they are not the Hawks only international competitors.
Katie Kennedy, 16, and Caitlyn Groves, 17, took part in the World Cheerleading Championships which were held at ESPN Disney World, in Orlando in Florida.
They were part of a Heros Super Six team which came 12th in the world championships.