A 15-year-old girl from Maldon who gave “the performance of her life” has won a world-wide cheerleading competition.

Year 11 pupil Giselle Henderson won gold and the prestigious title of world champion in the under-18s at the World Cheerleading Championship 2024.

‘Worlds’ is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World Orlando and Unity Allstars are the only ever UK team to have won at the competition - in 2022, 2023 and now this year.

Giselle said: “It has always been a dream to win, and I did not think it was possible.

“All year I’ve put in so much hard work and the training has been every day. It has all been worth it and I’m so happy.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Confident - Giselle HendersonConfident - Giselle Henderson (Image: Submitted)

Giselle started cheerleading in 2019 with Cheer Power, in Maldon, and in 2023 she successfully gained a place on Team England after training twice a week, travelling six hours each time.

More than 500 teams and 10,500 athletes from various countries compete at the championship across a variety of cheerleading divisions.

Giselle won gold at the 2023 Cheerleading World Championships and in July 2023 she tried out for a World Team at Unity Allstars and successfully gained a place on their Royal team. 

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Winner - Giselle Henderson, World Champion, in OrlandoWinner - Giselle Henderson, World Champion, in Orlando (Image: Submitted)

Royal took on 19 teams in the semi-final and entered the final held on April 29 in 3rd position.

In the final they “hit zero”, meaning they had no faults and gave the “performance of their lives" to win.

Giselle, who is taking her GCSEs this month at Plume Academy, said: “I was new to the team last year.

" I didn’t know many people at all but training and working with them has helped make good friendships as well.”

“My whole team feels like a family to me.”

She added: “I just want to continue going to the World Champions, putting out a good routine, and keep doing what I love.”