A GROUP of young Wirral cheerleaders take on the world at a championship final in America next month.

The Birkenhead Comets fly out to Pensacola, Florida on April 8 for the finals, competing against teams from Europe, America and Australia.

To help fund the trip, the group of 15 girls, aged 13 to 18, treated shoppers at Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead to acrobatic displays which were organised as a way of raising a portion of the £9,500 cost of the trip.

The team's coach, Carrie Humphreys, 36, says the girls have been working hard perfecting their routines since qualifying for the final last June.

She said: "The routines are hard work and very athletic. This is not cheerleading with pom-poms, its more gymnastics and tumbling-based and is physically very demanding.

"Going to America will be a wonderful experience for the girls and after the week of competition in Pensacola we will be moving on to Louisiana to train with an American team.

"Many of the girls will be staying with host American families which will give them a wonderful opportunity to get a real feel for American culture and possibly make life-long friends."

Trips to compete and train in America are expensive and the girls have been busy fundraising to help raise the £9,500 needed to fund their trip.

Coach Carrie Humphreys continued: “We have raised £6,500 to help pay for the trip and the hotels and flights are all booked. So what we raise now will help us pay transport costs and would mean we could eat!

“We are so grateful to the management of Pyramids Shopping Centre for allowing us to put on a demonstration of cheerleading.

“The Birkenhead public, as ever, have been very generous and we have raised a really good amount to add to our total, more than £300 in fact. And we have got other kids involved and maybe got a few interested in joining the Birkenhead Comets."

Derek Millar, Commercial Director for Pyramids Shopping Centre, said: “The Birkenhead Comets display drew quite a crowd and it was terrific for us to be supporting these young people as they prepare for their trip to America.