Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The dream of a national championship is one most athletes aspire to. When the ones competing are all under 13, it may become an even bigger challenge.
One group of Midlands cheerleaders hungry for a national title, and just some fun too.
It's a Saturday that's filled with structure for these cheerleaders, preparing their minds, and arms, for competition. "When they went to local, they were the underdogs. They went there, they were nervous, they worked so, so, so hard and they came out and they were number one. And we're very, very, very proud of them," says Candace Alexander Jenkins.
She's is one the coaches for the Mid-South Vikings, the girls range from 8 to 12 years old and cheer for the Pop Warner Football League. Valerie Bowers is another. "We try to keep it on their level as far as keeping it fun and teaching them the basics," says Bowers.
The girls are headed to Regionals in North Carolina Thursday and then hope to make it to Nationals. "They're very excited and they're ready to go and they love it," says Bowers, "Just that feeling of being there and doing this, doing what they love, is actually what we love to see." Adds Jenkins, "They came so close last year and because of a couple of glitches, they were unprepared. So, I think they can smell it now and so they want it even more."
The girls are still working to raise money for their possible trip to nationals, a $5,000 need. If you'd like to help them out, you can take donations to their donated practice studio World Tae Kwon Do Center on Two Notch Road. They are collecting donations until December 1st.