TALENTED Helensburgh sisters are raising money for the chance to compete in the Champion of Champions event for Highland dancing in Australia.

Catriona and Eilidh Gammons both qualified for the event, which will be held in Newcastle, New South Wales on March 31 and April 1.

It’s the first time the Burgh will be represented at the event.

Both girls are Highland dance champions in Scotland and Eilidh, 9, is also British, Commonwealth and Canadian Champion and has another 23 titles to her name.

The sisters, who attend Margaret Rose School of Dance, would love to raise enough money to go to the event and have the chance of winning the title Champion of Champions and putting Helensburgh on the map.

Catriona, 14, who has been dancing since the age of three, said: “My favourite things about dancing are spending time with my friends while doing something I love and getting the chance to compete and improve.

“I am hoping to do well at the competition, I would love some medals and to be in the line-up.”

Eilidh said: “I am really excited about the competition, I enjoy competing and I like having the chance to improve because I train really hard, I have been dancing since I was two and my favourite things about it are making new friends, dancing and improving and learning.”

The girls train together at home and have built up a huge collection of trophies between them.

They are looking forward to heading to the competition together as they believe it will be all the more special and are hoping that they both succeed.

They said: “It will be better doing it with each other and more fun to experience it together. We train at home and love to dance. We are hoping to come away with some medals and trophies.”

The Margaret Rose School of Dance had their most successful year to date in 2017 with dancers winning trophies in every section they entered and the school retaining the three Argyllshire championships.

Dance teacher Margaret MacInnes is delighted that the girls have qualified and is working to try and raise the money needed to get them to the competition.

She said: “Helensburgh has never had a qualifier, and as both sisters qualified I am busy trying to fund raise to help the girls achieve their dream.

“The girls have put Helensburgh on the map in the Highland dance world and everyone at the Margaret Rose School of Dance is extremely proud of the girls as they win these championships with sheer hard work and applying the corrections from their teacher.

“We are looking for both sponsorship and donations from the public and it would be great to get some help with the engraving of the trophies as last year it was over £1800 for that alone.

“I am so proud to have two dancers who have qualified for the champion of champions event. It’s an amazing achievement and as well as putting the Margaret Rose school on the map it’s also putting Helensburgh on the map.”

Both Margaret and the girls are looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings and have started work already to ensure it is as successful if not more successful than 2017.

Anyone who wants to help or enrol for the dance school is asked to contact Margaret on margaretroseschoolofdance@hotmail.com or by calling 07711 398462.