Flying high at the Cheerleading World Championships in Florida
Lydia Smith studies Child Care full-time at Ashton Sixth Form College. Twice a week, she trains with Rising Stars Cheer and Dance Troupe in Cheadle and just a few weeks ago she travelled to the United States of America to compete.
Lydia’s squad, Ellipse, competed at the Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando, Florida at the end of April. The USASF Cheerleading and Dance Worlds Championship brings together over 9000 cheer and 3500 dance athletes. As an international level 5 division team, Ellipse ranked an incredible 8th overall. On the first day, Ellipse hit 0 with no deductions, meaning no stunts fell and all tumbles were landed – they were the only UK team to do so and were the top UK team on day one. The event was aired live on ESPN across the US and was also available to purchase on ESPN in the UK.
[Lydia Smith pictured bottom center]
At just four years old, Lydia began gymnastics. Five years ago at the age of 12 she began cheerleading and has continued ever since. She trains twice a week on both Wednesday and Saturday, sometimes Sunday too. As part of her full-time course in Child Care at the college, Lydia spends two days a week on placement at nurseries and schools throughout the area. The hard work and dedication she puts in to both her studies and her sport is a testament to her commitment. Her role in the squad is flyer – she’s a main player in stunts, developing her core and upper body strength, as well as her flexibility and balance.
[Lydia Smith pictured top flyer]
Lydia has now attended the Cheerleading Worlds three times. Back in 2017, Ellipse placed 9th out of 48 as well as 11th out of 48 in 2016. This year, her squad also won the Grand Championships in Nottingham, adding to the growing list of numerous titles won throughout her sporting career. She began her education at St. Damian’s RC Science College and has high hopes for her cheerleading career in the future.