A CHEERLEADER from Basingstoke had the chance to take centre stage dancing with a professional team from America.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ cheerleading team The Roar of the Jaguars were at London’s Westfield Stratford City as part of the National Football League Draft celebrations.

Megan Cathers, from Basingstoke, was one of 25 girls to win a place in the Junior Roar Academy.

The 12-year-old joined members of the Jaguars’ cheerleading squad, who were flown over from Jacksonville especially for the visit.

After being presented with a Junior Roar T-shirt and pompoms, Megan took part in a fully choreographed final performance.

She said: “I really like being a cheerleader as I’m part of the Basingstoke Wolverines.

“It was really good to get the chance to meet the Jaguars cheerleaders.

“Cheerleading is great fun and I’ve also made lots of friends through it.”

Karen, a fourth-year Jaguars cheerleader, said: “We love being able to come over to London to meet our fans and a massive part of this is engaging with groups of youngsters.

“We love getting the chance to show young girls what cheerleading’s all about.

“They get to talk to us about things like healthy eating, exercise and also about our lives outside cheerleading.”

The Jaguars made London their second home after signing a deal to play at Wembley Stadium.