In competitive sports, it’s not easy to win, so imagine trying to defend a title for the sixth consecutive year!

“The pressure is definitely there. We’ve been winning for five years, so a lot of people are saying, ‘Cyrens shouldn’t win’ or ‘They don’t deserve it’,” said Cyrens captain, Genevieve Liew, 17.

And that’s where Red FM deejays JJ Fernandez and Ezra Mei come in!

When JJ surprised the cheerleaders (Ezra was unfortunately unable to make it), he heard all about the pressure to stay on top and how the team’s aim this year is just to nail their routine.

“They definitely got the right attitude going into this! I asked them about it and they said, ‘As long as our routine is perfect, we’re happy with whatever position we get’,” he said.

“You can see that they’re determined to be the best, and that alone is good enough for me. I’m confident they can pick up their sixth title!”

JJ also got a taste of what it’s like to be a cheerleader, by joining them for their stamina training.

They did 10 counts (each!) of burpees, quick feet, leg kicks, ab flutter kicks, side mountain climbers, double butt kicks, side & straight jumps, and Superman bounces. JJ was completely knackered.

And that was just one session! The girls usually do two sets of that, plus a whole list of other sessions to work on their strength, and cheerleading stunts and routines. “The first burpee was easy. It brought back memories because I used to play hockey. But during the third exercise, I started rediscovering muscles I’d forgotten and towards the end, the muscles started to rebel!” said JJ.

“But I managed to pull through, although it took me 20 minutes to recover.”

JJ then sat down with Liew for a chat, where he discovered that the team actually started training two weeks after CHEER 2014!

He was deeply impressed by the cheerleaders’ dedication and hard work, and said the sport is perfect for them to learn life lessons on team work, discipline and determination.

“These girls actually skip parties if they have training the next day! They work hard, they understand the role of leadership and the role they play in the team, and on top of that, they are very disciplined,” he said.

“So I told them, ‘Whatever you’ve learned here as a team, bring it with you wherever you go and you’ll be successful no matter what you do’.”

Before he left, the cheerleaders gave JJ a “lift”!


Our entertainment and celebrity news expert who happens to be disturbingly good at laser tag. Graduated with a degree in communications at 21 and went straight into the magazine business. She not only writes for R.AGE now, but also coordinates our long-running BRATs young journalist programme.

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CHEER 2015: Where champions are made


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