| 10.5°C Dublin

Swords cheerleaders cheer their way to third in the world


Twisiters Elite celbrating third place in the World Championships

Twisiters Elite celbrating third place in the World Championships

Twisters Elite competing in Orlando

Twisters Elite competing in Orlando


Twisiters Elite celbrating third place in the World Championships


Swords-based cheerleading outfit, “Twisters Elite” last week returned to Dublin Airport after a major victory at “Summit 2022”, the world cheerleading championships in Orlando, Florida.

18 athletes aged 13-18 years old travelled to Orlando with their five coaches to take part in the prestigious competition, taking home third prize overall.

A very proud Programme Director, Leone Ray, explains how the trip went for “Twisters Elite”, the only Irish team at the event: “They placed third, which was absolutely incredible, third in the world, so it’s wonderful for Irish sports for girls. They had so many challenges between Covid and we lost our gym and had to find a new premises.

“New members had to come because some couldn’t commit to going this year, they were doing the Leaving Cert or there were financial difficulties at home. So they had a huge number of challenges to overcome, not just being in lockdown, but the lead up to it and that.

“The American teams, they didn’t have the same restrictions that we had, so it just made it all that bit more challenging but the reward was so much bigger at the end then.”

Leone says the girls of “Twisters Elite” were a little overwhelmed on arriving to the stadium in Orlando, “the equivalent of Croke Park for cheerleading, basically.”

To make things even more nerve-wrecking, the entire event was broadcast on ESPN, such was the magnitude of the occasion.

“It was intimidating and tough, there was German teams, English teams, American teams travelling far and wide, so it’s very intimidating for the kids when they go in, especially since they hadn’t really got the exposure of the competition world for so long.

"This was the first time that they got to compete as a full team because in the run-up to it we had them in two other competitions but a couple of them had caught Covid so we had to make changes to the routine.”

Leone adds: “They didn’t have their best run on day one but their routine is very elite so they were hitting the highest scores because their routine is of such a high standard and it was able to carry them through to day two. So they were very lucky and their coaches are incredibly talented and have done an amazing job with them.”

Dublin Eye Newsletter

Dublin news for Dubs everywhere. Find out what’s going on in the nation’s capital. Issued Monday to Friday.

This field is required

Leone says it was great too to be able to “fly the flag for Ireland” in front of thousands of spectators, and to put ladies’ sports firmly on the map.

Her “big thing”, she says, is keeping girls in sports, since “unless you kick a ball in this country there’s very little support or encouragement, especially for girls.”

She says: “There was tears of joy, of excitement, emotion...we’ve a couple of kids who are going to university, so this is maybe their last competition, so it was just  so meaningful, they were just ecstatic. 

"It was just an incredible feeling, so emotional. It means the world to them, and third place for me is just like first place.” 


Do you have a Dublin story?

If so you can get in touch here