Lancing cheerleaders crowned world champions for second year in a row

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084712001
Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084712001

A Lancing cheerleading team is celebrating an unprecedented level of success after being crowned world champions for the second year in a row.

The Zodiac Allstars’ team Shadow became the first European team in history to defend their Summit world title after fending off international competition in Florida last month.

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084743001

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084743001

The Allstars are led by Shoreham couple Andy Wicks, 34, and Brienne Thompson-Fields, 24, who choreograph their award-winning routines.

Andy said he could not be more proud of the team, who have seen their hard work and dedication pay off.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “In our country we are one of the lead programmes but in terms of internationally we are now recognised worldwide.

“A main driver behind our success is not only the work ethic, but how motivated and happy everyone is. It’s a great lesson for them to work hard as a team and stay active.”

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084723001

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084723001

Shadow got the better of 29 other teams, finishing first in qualifying before taking the overall crown.

The girls range from nine to 16 years old and spent two weeks in Florida, training four hours a day most days.

Andy said they took their preparations seriously, resting properly, drinking plenty of water and keeping out of the sun, before kicking back and enjoying their success by exploring Walt Disney World.

A large part of the trainers’ job is supporting the teams mentally, Andy said, which includes a monthly session with a sports psychologist where they can discuss any issues outside of sport.

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084733001

Team Shadow from Zodiac Allstars SUS-190506-084733001

The next step for the Allstars, which are based in Lancing Business Park in Commerce Way, is to raise their profile and enough funds to finance their globetrotting competitions.

The teams have been bag packing at supermarkets, putting on showcases, hosting an awards evening, holding cake sales and more to chase their £25,000 total.