A TRIO of top twirlers from Hartlepool have every reason to smile.
Charlie Mitchell, 11, Chloe Fisher and Leah McVie, both 13, of Teesside Twirlers competed against some of the best baton twirlers in Britain.
With all their hard work over the past year they are certainly twirling their way to the top in fine style.
They had to perform up to five different twirling disciplines when they competed in the four-day event in a packed sports hall at the K2 sports centre in Crawley, Surrey.
They were up against as many as 40 other athletes in the preliminary rounds and had to qualify through to the semi-final and final rounds.
But all three made it into either the semi-finals or finals in all of their events.
Chloe and Leah secured a third place in the duo section, and Leah narrowly missed out on clinching the national title in her Novice Dance Twirl event where she took second place.
A spokesman for Teesside Twirlers said: “This was only their second national individual championships, and the girls outperformed their achievements from the previous year when they struggled to make finals.
“But with all their hard work over the past year they are certainly twirling their way to the top in fine style.”
Next for these talented youngsters is a trip to Nottingham to compete in the British Open Freestyle Baton Twirling Championships this month.
Chloe and Leah have also been attending monthly sessions in Luton to train with the National England Squad. It has seen Leah selected to represent England at the 2015 European Championships in Slovenia in July.
The spokesman added: “This is a massive achievement and honour for both Leah and Teesside Twirlers, a small baton twirling group of girls from Hartlepool.
“Special thank you to TMD Friction who very kindly made a donation towards training costs and toward getting Leah to Slovenia.”
Anyone wanting to support Leah’s Slovenia competition should visit her fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/ok61h0