An Elton woman who runs a community cheerleading group in Chester has been nominated for a Your Champions award.

Emma Ireland, 30, set up Deva Cheerleading Academy (DCA) which provides cheer, dance and stunt training for nearly 60 members, some as young as six-years-old.

The person behind Emma’s nomination, who wishes to remain anonymous, praised her dedication: “She started DCA from scratch and has built it up into a very successful and happy group of athletes, with teams of all ages and abilities who regularly enter cheerleading competitions.

“Emma spends many hours every week not just working with the cheerleaders, but also preparing routines, doing all the paperwork and the rest of the multitude of tasks involved with running a community group.

They added: “She is a fully trained cheerleading coach and recently used up a week of her annual leave allowance to attend an intensive cheer coaching course, which will greatly benefit the whole team.”

The Deva Cheerleading Academy

Calling her nomination ‘an honour’, Emma – who has been cheerleading for 12 years and coaching for eight – said she runs DCA because of her love of cheerleading.

“I got into it at university and it’s given me amazing experiences,” she said.

“I like being able to pass my enthusiasm on to others and enjoy seeing them grow and become more confident and develop their personal skills.

“I also enjoy creating opportunities for young girls and adults who may not get them elsewhere, such as recently taking a group to compete at Olympic Park in London.

“I had great role models when I was growing up who helped me experience a lot of things, so I feel doing the same for the girls I coach is my way of paying it forward.”

In addition to her full-time job and DCA responsibilities, Emma is also a special constable. She said: “Being a part of the Special Constabulary has given me an opportunity to meet a lot of new people and a chance to challenge myself.”

Cheshire Your Champions search for heroes and heroines of the community gets under way