A Pop Warner cheerleading squad from Woburn, Massachusetts, is headed to nationals at Disney World after their trip to the competition was in jeopardy over some cheer confusion.
Parents were originally told the team's third-place finish in regionals was enough to qualify them for nationals, Pop Warner Cheer and Dance National Championship at Disney World. Then, they said, the league called to tell them a mistake had been made due to a scoring rule.
The girls, ages 9 to 13, were devastated by the news, and parents were furious. Many of the families had already booked their flights to Florida.
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"You can't just say that we're going to Disney and then say that we're not, because you got our hopes up high and then dropped them," team member Addison Russell said.
NBC10 Boston contacted Pop Warner several times about the issue. The league reversed its decision Thursday evening, releasing the following statement:
Unfortunately, due to confusion around a specific scoring rule, there was an error made when we announced which teams qualified for the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships at Disney. We have apologized to the team for the error and completely understand their subsequent disappointment and frustration. We take responsibility for the error and are in the process of notifying the team that was affected that they will in fact be invited to this year's Nationals. We look forward to seeing them at Disney World next month.
The girls said they are looking forward to competing at nationals in December.
"If you raise your voice loud enough, you get heard, and that's exactly what we did," parent Nicole Spinazola said. "We're super proud and I'm so happy for these girls."