Grab your pompoms and start dancing, as this years European Cheerleading Championships will be held in our fair city of Glasgow. Nearly 3,000 competitors from 34 countries are expected at the city’s new Emirates Arena for the competition at the end of June and the event is expecting to attract over 2,000 spectators for the two day spectacular.

Though the UK sadly did not make it to last year’s finals in Amsterdam, a great disappointment to the nation, organisers at this end are optimistic about the competition and the UK’s chances.

The European Cheerleading Championships is organised by the European Cheer Union, and the first European competitions took place in Prague in 2011. Steve Walls, president of Scotcheer, Scotland’s leading cheerleading authority said ‘We are delighted that our bid to bring the 2013 ECU European Cheerleading Championships to Glasgow has been successful and we’re now aiming to deliver a show-stopping event, which will really set the benchmark for future championships. Over the past decade we have seen a meteoric rise in interest and participation in cheerleading right across Scotland and hosting this event in Glasgow will allow cheerleading clubs from every corner of the UK to compete against the very best in Europe’.

Overjoyed council leader Gordon Matheson said ‘The European Cheerleading Union’s decision to bring their flagship event to Glasgow is a huge vote of confidence in the city and a real first for Scotland and the UK. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to the thousands of competitors and spectators who will come and soak up the colourful atmosphere of these championships, which will undoubtedly deliver a significant boost to the city’s economy’.

Organisers are predicting that the event could bring an extra £1.3 million to the local economy, and if that’s not something to cheer about then I don’t know what is.

The competition is split into a range of categories, including age and dance style, and within each event judges look for the team’s gymnastic ability, stunt coordination and of course, their ability to generate spirit. Everyone is especially keen to see what last year’s winners Slovenia have been cooking up to offer the crowd. However as general interest in the sport grows, the competition is looking like it will deliver one or two surprises. It is unknown if Ladbrokes are accepting bets, but its probably too close to call anyway.

[Lucy Howell]

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