Ava shines in world cheerleading contest

A DOWNEND School student picked up a medal as her cheerleading team secured a podium finish in a world contest.

Ava Morgan, 16, took time out from preparing for her GCSEs to head to Orlando in Florida for the 2024 Cheerleading Worlds, a contest that pitted them against teams from across the globe at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

Mum Tracey said it was the latest achievement in 10 years of cheerleading for Ava, who lives in Mangotsfield.

Ava’s team, Ladies of the Crown, won bronze in their division, International Open Senior level 6, behind two Canadian teams. 

The team is part of Gymfinity, a club in Tredegar, Wales, where Ava trains twice a week, and Tracey said they were the first Welsh team to win a Cheerleading Worlds globe trophy.

Tracey said: “Ava has been involved in cheerleading since she was six years old. 

“She started with a club based in Downend, called Starlight Cheer Squad, and her love of the sport grew from there. 

“Over the years she has moved clubs to enable her to develop as an athlete and this is why she now trains in Wales – there are very few clubs that compete at level 6 in the UK.” 

It is the third time Ava had been to the Cheerleading Worlds. 

Last year she represented Team England as well as her club, and competed in the All Girl Premier division. 

Ava said: “I felt very proud to be able to compete at this level on a world stage. The hard work that the team has put in over the past year paid off.”

Tracey was out in Florida for a week to support Ava and her teammates, who were in the US for two weeks, including training ahead of the competition.

She said: “It was a great experience.  I feel very proud of Ava and all that she has achieved.  I’m always amazed when I see Ava and her team perform.” 

With GCSEs looming, Ava took school work so she could revise between training sessions.

Tracey said: “It was quite a tricky balance, to be honest!” 

Downend School head teacher Linda Ferris said: “It really is an amazing achievement and we’re so proud of her.”