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Denton mums team set to represent Britain in European Championships

A Denton-based dance team of mums will be representing their country in the European Championships in Milan this June.

Apex Cheer & Dance HQ was initially founded in Reddish in March 2017 and started out as "a small team of three kids trying to pom dance for fun". Fast forward seven years, Apex is now home to over 150 cheerleaders aged between 3 and 46.

They took 12 teams to the UKCA National Championships in March, with seven gaining the title of national champions.

Only two weeks later, head coach Hayley received an email inviting not one, but three of their teams to compete at the international championships in Italy this summer: their masters team, Apex Raven, junior team, Apex Lightening and senior coed stunt team, Apex Valkyrie.

Apex Raven, formed in October of last year, is made up of a group of women who simply want to "have a laugh and enjoy it". The group rehearse each Wednesday between 7:30pm and 8:30pm.

Team member Katie Meager, 46, said: "We did the our first ever comp at Belle Vue Stadium and it was just a really fun experience for us, we went along as a bit of a laugh and never in a million years expected to come away as national champions.

"The funniest thing was when we all asked work if we could have the time off in June and they said 'yes you're representing your country' - it still doesn't feel real."

The high school teacher continued: "My students think it's the funniest thing they've ever heard, they did get me up in assembly to announce it like kids do. They probably think we're a lot better than we are!"

Laura Hodgkins, 36, said: "We're not going [to Milan] with any expectations; we're just going to have a bit of fun, show the kids that we can do it and just enjoy the whole process.

"That's what the judges at the comp in March loved about us, they said we were comical and sassy and weren't taking it too serious - they could tell that we were just having fun with the routine."

Head coach Hayley Ratcliffe added: “I’m so proud of our Masters Team, whose collective goal was to go out on the floor and inspire their girls to keep doing what they love and believe that they can do whatever they want to do. 

"Well done ladies, your little cheerleaders and the rest of Apex will be applauding you in Milan for the show you will put on!”

The ten-strong team will take to the stage to showcase their talent on June 28.

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