A retired police officer has swapped crime fighting for pom-pom shaking – and launched an adults-only cheerleading squad.
With the spangly costumes and cheesy smiles cheerleading has long been associated with youngsters but the new Derbyshire troupe is bucking the trend .
Beckie Thompson set up the squad only eight weeks ago after spotting a gap in the market.
Beckie, 42, who runs weekly session at Swanwick Sports College, said the group was already gathering momentum, with more members set to join.
She added: “I was a police woman for 20 years, arresting huge men and thinking all the time I’m a cheerleader at heart.
“It doesn’t really matter how old you are as long as they are willing to get involved we can normally find a suitable position for them.
“I have taught people over 60. I would welcome people of any age.”
Beckie led children’s cheerleading classes for several years before giving up in 2006 due to other commitments.
She was persuaded to set up an adults-only class after being bombarded with requests from former students.
She said: “The squad is unique in its approach. We offer fun and fitness in a mature yet family environment, no one is at a disadvantage.
“Whether you are new to the sport or a pro you will be welcomed with open arms and encouraged to reach your best potential.”
The team are set to take part in a range of community events including Alfreton’s Party in the Park in September.
The sessions are currently free but each cheerleader can enter a savings scheme to purchase kits or pay for competition entry.
The squad train every Monday at Swanwick Sports College between 7pm and 8.30pm.
Anyone over the age of 16 interested in joining should contact Beckie on 07715288538.