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Lawyers by day, cheerleaders at night - the sisters doing it for themselves

PUBLISHED: 07:47 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:47 16 August 2019

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

By day, they are sisters who work at the same Norwich legal firm.

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

But by night, Becky and Jenny Copeland swap contracts for cheerleading.

Lawyer Jenny, 43, and legal secretary Becky, 41, juggle their day jobs at Fosters Solicitors with evenings at their cheerleading club, East Coast Emeralds, which has recently been nominated for a national award.

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Run from a formerly disused gym at the Hewett Academy, East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading is "not another job at all" and is "nicely different" from legal work, Jenny said.

The idea to open the club was born on a flight back from a Florida holiday in June 2010 when the sisters, who were both in their university cheerleading teams, realised there wasn't a club in Norwich.

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Ms Copeland, from Dussindale, said: "I just turned to my sister and said 'I think we should start a cheerleading team'. It was as simple as that."

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And just four months later, in September 2010, the pair set up East Coast Emeralds with 20 members from a village hall.

She said: "We meant business. It was amazing because when we launched it there was already a demand."

The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The East Coast Emeralds Cheerleading team who are run by sisters Jenny and Becky Copeland. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

The club now has more than 200 members ranging from under 18s to those aged 47 and the sisters believe their success is down to family.

Ms Copeland added: "Everyone jokes that we do the same thing. But we've achieved what we have because we work really well together. We never take anything personally and always hear each other out. We're on the same wavelength."

And the double act's hard work has paid off - East Coast Emeralds has been entered into Persimmon Building Futures programme this year which will award community projects up to £100,000. Ms Copeland said the nomination was a dream come true and the winnings would fund more expensive cheerleading equipment.

A sprung floor, for example, used to protect cheerleaders from falls, costs £18,000 and a tumble track for forward rolls is £10,000.

Ms Copeland added: "We want to take the team to the next level. Cheerleading is such a fantastic sport that does so much for young people.

"It's really addictive and I just watch my team grow in confidence."

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