The Exeter Emeralds were crowned 2013 University Dance Grand Champions at the National Universities Cheerleading Competition.

Back left to right: Kirsty McKay, Kayleigh Pearsall, Helen Cheesman, Sophie Stimson, Lois Gidley, Eleni Garidis, Abi Acors, Orissa Llewelyn, Robyn Smith, Jessica Johnson, Emily Preston

Front left to right: Rosie Pike (club captain), Georgie Tate

Exeter Emeralds sparkle at national competition

The University of Exeter’s Cheerleading and Gymnastics squad have added to their long list of accolades by bringing home a wealth of trophies from the National Universities Cheerleading competition which took place 28 - 29 March.

35 cheerleaders from the ‘Exeter Emeralds’, comprising of three dance squads, three stunt groups and a large competition cheer squad, travelled to Telford for the event, which saw Universities from across the country compete over 20 different categories. 

The competition was incredibly fierce with many of the squads having trained for the event since January in order to perfect the home-choreographed routines.

Despite one of the stunt team’s “flyers” suffering a sprained ankle in training, the Emeralds brought home an impressive 10 first place trophies; a record for the club who are a regular feature of many of the University of Exeter's top sporting events.

Cheer Captain Kirsty McKay choreographed many of the routines and was delighted with the clubs performances. She said: "I am extremely happy that the hard work of all members of the squad has been rewarded with a record-breaking number of trophies this season. We train incredibly hard to achieve success and I am thrilled that this has been recognised on a National level. A personal highlight of this season was being crowned National University Grand Champions of Dance for Pom, a routine I am especially proud of."

"The talent of the girls in our dance squads really is exceptional, and being able to perform Jazz and Pom at the U.S. finals next year is the perfect way to end my term as Cheer Captain. Being a member of the Exeter Emeralds has been the best part of my University experience and while I am sad to leave, I am sure that next year's committee will guide the squad to even more success. I cannot recommend the Club highly enough for anyone looking to make lifelong friends and achieve incredible success as part of a tight-knit team"

Club Captain Rosie Pike was also thrilled with the results which included two first place finishes in the Jazz and Pom category and being crowned the overall Universities Grand Champions for Dance. She said: “I am incredibly proud of all the Emeralds, this has been the most successful year the club has had to date; I am convinced the club will continue to move from strength to strength. Every single member of the club should be extremely proud of their efforts. I consider myself very privileged to have been Club Captain this year and to have trained with and competed alongside so many amazing girls!

There is no better feeling than graduating from the University of Exeter this summer knowing that I have made life-long friends through such an amazing sport, there is no doubt that I will leave Exeter on a high! I wish to thank all the girls for keeping optimistic, dedicated and determined to succeed during difficult moments, this year has proved that hard work really does pay off. Congratulations Exeter Emeralds, let the success continue.

The Exeter Emeralds welcome students of all abilities to join the club and regularly perform at high profile events including Premier League Rugby matches for the Exeter Chiefs and games at Exeter City Football Club.

Athletic Union President Joe Batten lauded the club’s diverse range of abilities. He said: “This is an excellent result for the Exeter Emeralds and a brilliant reward for a club who are deeply rooted in sport at the University of Exeter. To do so well across so many different disciplines is a sign of the real quality throughout the club and a reflection of the hard work that everyone puts in. Whether performing at our varsity matches or national level sporting events the Emeralds consistently fly the flag of the "Green Machine" and set a brilliant example for all to follow, they deserve to be incredibly proud of their achievements.” 

Date: 16 April 2013