Cheerleading is famous for perfect girls performing stunts and dancing with pom poms – now an Altrincham resident is making it accessible to plus size women.
Julie Hawkins, 32, runs her squad, Eclipse Cheerleading, and trains people of all ages and sizes once a week at Broad Heath St Albans.
Ms Hawkins started cheerleading during her student days at Salford University and after graduating gained her level four NCSSE coach qualification.
She said: “I wanted to make it more accessible to everyone and not just skinny 18-year-old blonde girls.”
Squad member, Natasha Cole, 26, joined the team from the beginning and explained: “I went along but thought it wasn’t going to be my type of thing as I’m a plus size woman, but I ended up having so much fun I kept going.”
The ten strong community group training session involves choreographing some stunts and practicing dance routines.
Ms Cole said: “The class has a real mixture of people and no one feels shy and we have all become good friends.”
The squad has carried out promotional work for regional businesses and have received some sponsors to help them get their kits and uniform.
The team are looking for more members and are planning on upping the training sessions to twice a week.
Ms Hawkins is planning to enter the squad for this year’s British Cheerleading Association competition in Blackpool’s Winter Garden’s in November.
She added: “I came ninth out of 39 teams in the competition with the University squad and the plan is to beat that with my new squad.”