Putri Nadia Mutiara Azman, 14
Team Xavier Junior, SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur

SHE might be young, but Putri Nadia Mutiara is hoping to make a big impression at the Cheer 2013 finals at Putra Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, on June 29 and 30. She will be captaining team Xavier Junior in this year’s new junior division.

What got you into cheerleading?
Gymnaestrada is a popular sport in my primary school, SK Convent Bukit Nanas 1. I started with that in Standard One before branching out into cheerleading, which is a common thing to do in my school. Cheer 2013 will be my first actual competition as I’ve only competed in inter-house competitions in school.

How does Xavier Junior feel about competing against older and more experienced teams?
My team is very optimistic. We feel that although we are younger than most, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be as good, if not better, than the rest.

What is it like being the captain of Xavier Junior?
Leadership is tough because it comes with a lot of responsibility, but it has taught me a lot. I have learnt to be strict with my teammates. They can be quite playful, so now I make them do push-ups whenever they aren’t serious during training (laughs)! Apart from that, I’ve also learnt to be more confident.

What are the most important ingredients for success in cheerleading?
A lot of teamwork, discipline, perseverance and the ambition to grow. I hope that these would eventually help me improve and be a better cheerleader.

Does it help that your sister (Putri Eilya Sofia, 16) is also a cheerleader?
Yes. I’ve watched her compete in team Xavier since 2011 and it’s clear that she enjoys cheerleading tremendously. We practise at home together.

Are you ready to make your Cheer debut?
I think so, but I would love to be even better before the big day. I’m looking forward to giving it my all and having fun with my team. – Denielle Leong

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