A FORMER cheerleader who swapped high kicks for touchdowns will represent her country as part of the first British women’s American football team.

Florist Lindsey Robson, from Willington, spent years cheering on American footballers from the sidelines, but last November she decided to take up the sport herself.

Since then, she has joined the Teesside Steelers squad, based in Thornaby, and has played in British American Football Association competitions across the country.

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Her talent and dedication has not gone unnoticed, with Miss Robson, 24, securing a place in the first UK women’s squad of 11.

The team’s first match, a friendly against Sweden, takes place on Saturday, September 20, and it is hoped the players will go on to compete in European and international competitions.

Miss Robson, who owns Charltons Florist in Crook, said: “There has been an explosion of interest in women’s American football recently.

“It is a fantastic game. People think it is just rugby with padding but that is not the case at all. It is a game of strategy. It is very different to cheerleading but I love it.”