ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Rotterdam Pop Warner Tiny Mites cheerleading team recently competed and placed first in their region at the Eastern Region finals in Trenton, New Jersey on October 30. The team, composed of cheerleaders aged five to seven, will be moving on to Nationals in Orlando, Florida this December.

“Our program was almost shut down when our property was sold to the Rotterdam Industrial Park,” explained Courtney Sebring, head coach of the Rotterdam Tiny Mites. “However, a deal was made that we as a town continue the youth program under a low-rate lease deal of the Pop Warner field.”

Describing the impact of COVID-19 on the sport, Sebring went on to say it has taken a couple of years for the Rotterdam Pop Warner program to find its footing and get back to the mats. “This [season] has been a huge shock considering where we have come from,” Sebring said.

Even after all the challenges the young cheer team has faced, another obstacle stands in the way—the cost of a trip to Orlando. The team has planned several fundraisers for competition fees, travel expenses to Florida, room and board expenses, transportation, and meals, with a goal of $10,000. To donate, visit the Rotterdam Pop Warner website or email Rotterdampopwarner2020@gmail.com.

Also competing in the Eastern Region finals over the weekend were the Colonie Pop Warner Tiny Mites, who took second place out of 18 teams in their division. The Colonie squad will also be headed to Orlando this winter.