City football hero swaps football for cheerleading coaching session

Norwich City FC legend Grant Holt visited East Coast Emeralds, a Norwich based community cheerleadin

Norwich City FC legend Grant Holt visited East Coast Emeralds, a Norwich based community cheerleading club. Photo: Aviva - Credit: Aviva

A Norwich City legend swapped footballs for pom-poms to coach a special cheerleading session.

Grant Holt joined the East Coast Emeralds on Tuesday, October 30, at their cheerleading gym in the Hewett Academy, Norwich, for a high energy tumbling session.

Mr Holt assisted the coaching team as they took the group through drills and even found his inner cheerleader by attempting some daring stunts.

David Barton, coach at the Emeralds, said: 'It was great to have Grant join in one of our training sessions. He didn't hold back and while I think he might be busy with football and now wresting – we think he would make a good cheerleader too.'

The football legend, much loved among Norwich fans for his time spent as a striker for the club, said he was inspired by the cheerleading group's work.

He said: 'I really enjoyed visiting the group and saw the inspiring work they do teaching these children some impressive cheerleading skills. I was amazed by the commitment of the coaches and the talent of the kids who participate.'

The athlete expressed his support for the work by the Emeralds and said groups such as theirs provided brilliant opportunities for young people to improve their social skills as well as their fitness.

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He added: '[They are] providing the same kind of network that football gave me growing up.'

The East Coast Emeralds is a Norwich based cheerleading club which trains aspiring athletes aged five plus to national competition level.

They also run recreational squads that allow people to try the sport and provide tumble classes.

The group received funding from the Aviva Community Fund in 2015 and 2016, which they used to fund training courses to enable their athletes to become coaches, growing the club from 15 to 150 members.

Mr Barton said: ''Without the support of the Aviva Community Fund, clubs like ours would not be able to grow and develop.'

More 3,000 groups have applied to receive up to £25,000 worth of funding from this year's Aviva Community Fund, with public voting open until midday on Tuesday, November 20.

See the entries here.