A cheerleading club from Consett has returned from Florida with a silver medal after success for both of its teams in the US.

Derwent Valley Allstars’ Under 16 Level 1 team ‘Royalty’ competed at ‘The Summit’ finishing second in the world, after Senior team ‘Reign’ placed an impressive 16th in the world at the IASF Cheerleading World Championships.

Derwent Valley Allstars was founded in 2010 by the programme owner and director, Ashleigh Sowerby, and is based in Leadgate, just outside of Consett. Royalty are the younger team of the two that travelled to the international competitions in Florida this April, after winning a bid to represent the UK, having just missed out on finals at last year’s event.

But now, competing against teams from the US, Canada, Australia and other parts of Europe, Royalty got through to the final and picked up a silver medal as they placed second overall out of 38 teams. Primarily coached by Erin Munn and Jaz Newton, Royalty’s success has helped grow the reputation of DVA on an international level, something which has been recognised by Ashleigh.

She said: “I wasn’t sure if missing out on finals last year would be a negative or positive for the girls, but they have used it to motivate them and have been so focused and determined to reach that goal this year. It’s a dream come true to be putting little Consett on the map in such a big way at an international event.

“Both of the coaches who work with Royalty have been amazing, Erin has been an athlete here for over 10 years, and watching her grow into a young woman and a coach has been so rewarding. Jaz has been coaching here since 2018 and he has been instrumental in pushing our international programme to grow further and further.”

As well as Royalty, ‘Reign’ their International Small Open Co-Ed team, which is made up of 16 athletes aged between 15-29, competed for a second year running at the IASF Cheerleading World Championships, placing an incredible 16th overall against hundreds of teams from different countries. Reign coaches Jaz & Ashleigh state “We overwhelming proud with the success of this team and it’s been an honour to be apart of their journey this season.”

Ashleigh went on to share the club’s ambitions for the future.

We want to explore more international opportunities, as well as regional and national competitions, to give these young people as many experiences as we can. We will continue to dip our toes into the world of international cheerleading and I am so proud and thankful to everyone who has been involved in bringing us this success.

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