It's not just pompoms and dance routines - cheerleading is a sport in its own right, and Luxembourg's first squad is heading to the world championships in May.

Cheerleading is no longer just found in American high schools or universities. The high-performance sport may be well-known around the world thanks to its depiction in Hollywood movies, but the combination of acrobatics and gymnastics has taken off in the Grand Duchy as well.

Esch-sur-Alzette gym club Esperance founded Luxembourg's first cheerleading squad, the Sweet Devils, back in 1999. Since then they've achieved podium finishes in multiple competitions, culminating in their qualification for the 2024 Summit world championships in Orlando, Florida.
The squad, made up of 23 cheerleaders aged between 14 and 31, are currently training diligently, working on their stunts, baskets and pyramid routines. Timing and simultaneous execution are key in the sport.

However, flying a large squad to the US is no small feat. The club says the endeavour will challenge them financially, with a budget of around €80,000 required to enable the squad to participate in the championships. In order to raise funds, the club has launched a GoFundMe appeal.