CHEERLEADING may have previously been more at home on an American Football pitch, but not anymore.

Young cheerleaders from Bicester will be taking part in a nail-biting, two-minute 30-second performance of stunts, jumps and dance in a national contest next month.

Two stunt teams will also take part in the contest on Saturday, May 17.

Before they head to the Manchester Velodrome, members of Bicester Elite Cheer United, called Bicester ECU, showed off their new kit.

The all-girl squad have been in rehearsals since January to ensure each has got the routine down to the split second.

Kizzy Burt, who runs classes at Bicester Rugby Club, Oxford Road, said the team, aged seven to 16, would face up to 50 other groups from around the UK.

She was clear that it isn’t just girls doing dances.

She said: “It’s not pom-poms, it’s cheerleading stunts. They lift people up on top of each other, throw them into the air and catch them.

“It’s nail-biting teaching them, but they always come through. They’re fantastic.

“We are the first cheer competitors in Bicester. We are really proud of how far they have come.”

Mum-of-two Mrs Burt, 30, became Oxfordshire’s first “cheerobics” instructor in 2012. Her fitness classes were so popular she took it to another level and began teaching stunts.