By DANIEL SUBRAMANIAM
IF YOU think that cheerleading is all about pompons and makeup, you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Cheerleading is a sport that requires determination, grit and nerves of steel to execute the thrilling stunts involved.
And on top of all that, the cheerleaders have to look good while doing it too.
That’s what all the teams that attended the two-day Cheer 2012 clinic, held at Dewan Serbaguna D’Kelana, Selangor, demonstrated.
The atmosphere in the hall was jovial, but you could tell that the cheerleaders meant business – there were teams practising routines, cheerleaders being tossed into the air, and cheers and shoutouts being rehearsed.
This year’s clinic was a little different from previous years as it started off with a game by the Silkygirl team designed to boost the cheerleaders’ confidence.
The game involved cheerleaders volunteering to put their hands in a ‘mystery box’ and guess the item inside. It was a way to encourage them to be confident and believe in themselves.
The cheerleaders who were brave enough to come up and take part were rewarded with Silkygirl products.
Throughout the clinic, coaches from the Cheerleading Association and Register of Malaysia (CHARM) were on hand to give tips and advise teams on their stunts and routines.
In between their routines, the cheerleaders also got to snack on sweets from Cheer co-sponsors, Sugus.
While there were some familiar teams in attendance, there were also a couple of newcomers to the competition.
Team Velocity from SMK Bandar Puchong Jaya (A), Puchong was one of them.
“We have already been training for four to five months,” explained captain Neo Yen Sin, 16. Not only is this the first year her team is competing, it also her first year in cheerleading.
“We are here to build up our experience and to learn more about Cheer,” she added.
Alysha Ahmad Shukri, 16, captain of team Shirtliff from SMK Seri Bintang Utara, KL is no stranger to Cheer, this being her third year taking part. Apart from Alysha, the rest of the team are all newcomers, and they have a reputation to live up to – Shirtliff are five-time Cheer champions.
“We are here to take things bit by bit from the judges. We’ve been training on our own for the last five months so this our only chance to get professional advice,” said Alysha.
Also at the clinic were reigning champions in the Co-Ed category, the Mickeymitez of SMK Damansara Jaya, Selangor, who have been training since September last year.
For the Mickeymitez, the clinic isn’t just about sharpening skills, but also about testing their routine. Team captain Jake Lim Jia Jern, 17, said “We wanted to make sure that all our moves are legal and that they all check out.”