The Musselburgh-based Black Diamond Cheerleaders enjoyed staging their Christmas Showcase.

The recent event at Dalkeith Schools’ Community Campus, involving more than 160 athletes, attracted 350 spectators.

Established in 2008 by club owner Gillian Samuel, Black Diamond runs a competitive All Star cheerleading programme with more than 170 athletes, aged three to 30, based at Musselburgh East Community Learning Centre.

Classes are also held at Penicuik and Liberton.

Natalie Samuel, who coaches alongside her mum Gill, said: “Cheerleading is an extremely inclusive sport.

“It does not matter what shape, size, gender, ability or physical or mental ability you have. It is a sport for everyone, which is what we love about it.

“It’s also a great way to learn new skills, make new friends and really have a sense of belonging.

“We are not just a club but we feel it’s also a safe place for students to be themselves and get support from their team-mates – more like a family!”

Natalie said that the Christmas Showcase was a “success” and was a chance for family and friends to see the new season routines for the first time.

“The students also love getting dressed up in their cheer outfits,” she added.

In 2023, Black Diamond enjoyed its “biggest achievement to date” when its international team Ruby was the first team in Scotland to make it to The Summit finals in Orlando, Florida.

“This was a huge achievement for a small club based in Scotland and we were extremely proud to represent our country,” said Natalie.

“The Summit is a prestigious event held in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, where you have to win a bid to attend and compete with the best of the best.

“We attended this event in April 2023 with no expectations and just aimed to do our best.

“We went into the semi-finals in seventh place, which is amazing competing with some of the best teams in the world.

“We then finished 10th in the world – the girls were ecstatic.”

Natalie added: “We have been lucky enough to have received another bid to compete in 2024.

“Our athletes are hard at work preparing for this event, pushing to come back bigger and better, and we are so proud of them all.”

The trip is self-funded and costs about £3,000 per athlete.

Natalie said: “We are always looking for sponsors to help our athletes achieve their dream, as entry fees alone are £400, not to mention kit and training fees.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most and we want our Diamonds to enjoy every minute of it.”

She added: “We also have a recreational side to our club and offer ‘for fun’ classes in Cheer, Acro and Pom.

“New members are always welcome.

“They can email us at or follow us on social media: Facebook – Black Diamond Cheerleaders or Instagram – black_diamondsx”