Champions’ travel fears

Kai James Newton - 1st place in the under 8s UDO north west dance championshps at the Winter Gardens
Kai James Newton - 1st place in the under 8s UDO north west dance championshps at the Winter Gardens
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DANCE champions face missing out on a prestigious tournament against the world’s best if they cannot raise enough funds to travel to the venue.

Six dancers from Blackpool-based FY West Coast are due to compete in The United Dance Organisation’s (UDO) international contest – but after it emerged the competition is moving from Blackpool to Glasgow, they fear they will not be able to pay the travel and hotel costs.

The dance group had already entered last Sunday’s qualifying heats before the UDO announced it would be moving its World Street Dancing Championships from the Winter Gardens, which has been its home since 2006, to Glasgow in August.

Mel Ramsey, a coach at FY West Coast, said “It is going to cost the families hundreds of pounds for the travel and hotels.

“It’s a really hard competition and for them to qualify is an amazing achievement.

“It will be very upsetting if they can’t go.

“They will be absolutely devastated.”

Casey Foster, five, and Kai James Newton, seven, were the youngest FY West Coast competitors to qualify at the North West heats in Blackpool last Sunday.

They were joined by Under 10 advanced champion Reece Knight, nine, Under 12 advanced dance competitor Jade Finlayson, 11, and Under 16 competitor Oliver Greenwood, 15.

Samantha Bell, head coach of FY West Coast, said: “At the moment we are looking for fund-raisers to come forward because it’s going to be a very expensive weekend and it will be difficult to get up there and stay over.

“Everyone was so shocked when they heard they had got through, but it’s going to be very hard to carry on training for the competition when we might not be able to go.

“They are really looking forward to it but if we don’t go I don’t think there will be anyone representing Blackpool which is a shame because the competition first started here.”

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