Rebecca is in good cheer

REBECCA Taylor, pictured in white, with the talented members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders
REBECCA Taylor, pictured in white, with the talented members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders

THE founder of a cheerleading academy is in the hunt for an award - and she admitted she would be “ecstatic” to win.

Rebecca Taylor, 23, was stunned when we told her she had been nominated for the coach of the year section of the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.

REBECCA Taylor, pictured in white, with the talented members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders

REBECCA Taylor, pictured in white, with the talented members of the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders

She added: “I am so pleased. It is nice to be recognised and appreciated for all the hard work that we do.”

Rebecca started the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleading academy four years ago after the inspiration came from her times as a student at Sunderland University.

Rebecca, who has a background in dancing and high-level gymnastics coaching, said: “I discovered cheerleading when I was at university. I realised that a lot of kids enjoy dancing as well as the gymnastic side of things. Cheerleading is perfect for anyone who likes to do the tricks from gymnastics.”

Rebecca heads a team of volunteers who run the academy and said: “When people volunteer to do something, it is because they love it.”

The Hartlepool Hawks currently has 200 students on its books and runs more than 30 classes. But that will increase to almost 60 by September and the academy has also secured nearly £9,000 of National Lottery funding to fill her new centre with equipment.”

The Hawks have taken on two units in Moreland Street in Hartlepool. One is a large dance studio and the other a gymnasium.

Rebecca admitted: “I would be ecstatic to win this.”

We want to honour the people who make our town the envy of the country.

Over the years, Hartlepool has regularly produced winners in boxing, golf, swimming, athletics and lots more besides. In fact, it doesn’t matter which sport you compete in. From the best in disabled sportspeople to grass roots performers, from coaches to teams – we want to honour them all.

Over the next few weeks, we shall be featuring stories on some of the nominations. Then it’s over to the judges to draw up a shortlist before the glittering finale in October, which will be held at the Hardwick Hall Hotel.

There’s plenty of time for you to come forward with your favourites. Fill in the application form in today’s paper or go HERE