A team of young cheerleaders from a school in Stevenage is celebrating a resounding success at their first regional competition.

Barclay Academy's cheerleading team, Barclay Buzz, travelled to Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes to compete in the prestigious Future Cheer Essentials event.

The team comprised of 18 athletes, who said their "dreams came true" when they were awarded first place in the schools' cheer division.

Throughout the day, teams battled it out from 10am to 7pm in a tense competition, with the Barclay Academy pupils impressing the judges.

Coaches Miss Morgan and Miss Bickerstaff said they are "incredibly proud" of their squad, and put their success in their first competition down to "the girls supporting one another as a team and working so hard in training".

The coaches also thanked Future Academies Trust for their significant financial support, saying: "Their investment has given these amazing young people the chance to discover their potential and access opportunities that they could only have dreamt of."

Without the pom-poms traditionally associated with cheerleading, the sport involves acrobatics, building human pyramids, tumbling, jumps and dance.

Grace Temple, who is a base and tumbler on the team, said: "Cheer is such an escape and builds up your confidence, while being part of an amazing family."

Teammate Libby Howell also feels that being part of Barclay Buzz has had a positive impact on her.

She said: "Cheer makes you feel good about yourself, and you can be yourself around everyone without any judgement."

Barclay Buzz's next competition is the Legacy Cheer Super Championship on February 19 and 20, at the Copper Box Arena in London.