Sports Minister Dafydd Elis Thomas was on hand to wish Team Wales Paracheer ‘Pob lwc’ ahead of the team flying out to the USA to defend their world championship title next week.

 The Pontypridd-based team  won gold in the USA last year at their first attempt and were invited to the Assembly by local Assembly Member Mick Antoniw.

The team, led by coach Sabrina Mountjoy met the Minister and officials to tell them more about the sport of Paracheer, which features mixed teams of disabled and non-disabled athletes and their plans to win gold again for Wales at the World Championships in Florida next week.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas said:

“It was fantastic to meet our paracheer team this morning and to share in their pride and excitement at representing Team Wales at the World Championships in Florida later this week. Congratulations and pob lwc.”

Mick Antoniw, Assembly Member for Pontypridd said:

“It was great that the Minister to took such a keen interest in the team’s progress.

“Last year Team Wales went to the USA and beat the Americans in their own backyard at their own game, to bring home gold for Wales.  It is an amazing achievement.

“We have so much talent in Wales, not just in mainstream sports such as football and rugby, but in growing sports such as Paracheer and I hope that today’s visit will help raise the profile of the sport within Welsh Government and Wales generally.

“Team Wales are a fantastic group of young people who are great ambassadors for their sport and for Wales.  I wish them every success for next week’s World Championships.”

Coach Sabrina Mountjoy commented:

“We are so excited to be leaving in a few days to defend our World Championship title and Gold Medal at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships.

“We cannot thank the Minister and Welsh Government enough for their support of us and our sport.  We intend to fight and defend the gold with all of our might. “

Team Member Eloise Saunders, 22, from Pontyclun said:

“We’ve been training very hard, with sessions lasting four hours, to ensure we get our brand new routine right for the World Championships.  We’re really looking forward to representing Wales as we take on teams from across the World.”

Eliza Price, 15, from Pontypridd added:

“This year there will be more teams than ever taking part and every one of them will be hoping to beat us, but we’re not going to let that happen!”