A TERRIFIC team of cheerleaders from Ludlow delivered a debut to remember – by claiming gold at their first ever live event.

The Candykatz team from Fuzion Dance and Cheer Academy took first place at the recent ICE (Incredibly Cool Events) competition in Newport, Wales.

The youngsters – aged between four and seven, and coached by Kara Harbourne, Millie Barnard and Emma Paton – triumphed in the ‘tiny prep one’ category.

Not only that, they came within one point of being crowned grand champions of the whole event, encompassing all age groups.

To round off the success, another academy team, the newly-formed Leominster Wildkatz finished runners-up in the youth prep level one section.

“We are all so chuffed with each and every athlete,” said head coach Emma, who has been running the academy for 16 years.

“Candykatz couldn’t wait to get out there and show everyone what they were made of with a smashing routine and performance.”

The performances would have earned both teams a spot in June’s Battle of the Champions event – but that may not now go ahead due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s our eighth cheerleading season and it has come to a very quick end,” admitted Emma.

“It’s a very emotional time and some of the children were so upset. We have all our fingers crossed the Battle of the Champions event goes ahead.”

Physical classes are suspended during the outbreak but Emma is continuing online, with condition drills, dance workshops, parent challenges and educational tasks such as researching famous dancers, cheerleaders and choreographers, as well as healthy eating and lifestyle tips.