Sisters cheering for a win
CHEERLEADING: When Taylah Arthurson came home from school determined to take up a new sport, her mother never imagined she would see her eldest daughter compete on the world stage - let alone her second daughter as well.
Taylah and her younger sister Britney are junior cheerleaders who have been selected to represent their club, Queensland Cheer Elite, next month at the largest cheerleading competition in the world.
The NCA Nationals competition, held in the USA, attracts 25,000 cheerleaders from around the world, and will pose tough competition to the Fernvale sisters.
"I'm feeling really excited, because I can catch up with lots of my friends at the competition and make new ones," Taylah said.
"But I'm also kind of nervous, because it's a big competition and there's lots of other teams we'll be competing against."
Though two years apart, with Taylah aged 10 and Britney eight, the two girls compete in the same team in the sport's level two division.
They agreed being teammates came with both advantages and challenges.
"It's a little bit competitive ... but I like it," Britney said.
In preparation for their coming trip, the girls' mother Chloe Arthurson said they were training six days a week.
"See, I didn't know what it was until Taylah started doing it - I thought it was just waving pom poms around but it's much more than that," she said.
"What the girls do is the American style of cheerleading, which involves flips, tumbling, lifting and throwing each other around a lot more.
"The level two division normally is the most popular one as well, which means it has more teams to compete against than the other divisions.
"Also, over here, the cheerleading season is just starting but in America, they're right in the middle of their season, so we're at a bit of a disadvantage.
"They've been training hard though... they're a little bit obsessed."
Taylah said she hoped her countless practice sessions would help her achieve her dream - a professional career at the highest levels of cheerleading.
Britney echoed her sister's ambition and said she would be working on her tricks and handstands in the coming weeks.
Ms Arthurson has launched a GoFundMe page to help fundraise the girls' travel expenses.