By KESSHMITA PARANJOTHI
Nur Adriana Chong
Team name: D*starz Junior
School: SMK (P) Sri Aman
ADRIANA’s passion for cheerleading is so immense that at the tender age of 14, she is already leading a team of 15 talented cheerleaders. With CHEER 2015 just a couple of months away, this charismatic team captain is determined to guide her team to victory.
What helps you stay focused on cheerleading at such a young age?
I would say my teammates, my parents and ultimately, my passion for the sport. I have a great support system, people who are there for me during all my ups and downs in the sport. My parents are very supportive of me and my involvement in cheer, and my teammates are also always there to motivate and challenge me to improve.
Is there anyone in cheerleading that you look up to?
I look up to my coach, Coach Chiaki. He has been there for me and my teammates from the very beginning. Without him and his support, we wouldn’t be here as a team today. Most of us were new to cheerleading last year, but he helped us grow individually and as a team. I’m so proud of where we are today, and Coach Chiaki definitely deserves credit for that.
Have you experienced any injuries?
Yes, I have experienced some injuries like back aches and a concussion. I usually get back pains because I arch a lot during cheer practice. It takes anywhere between a few hours to a day for the pain to subside. Despite the physical toll the sport has taken on my body, my coaches, teammates, friends and most importantly my family, are the ones who give me the strength to be brave and carry on.
How do you balance studying and cheer practice?
I have a time table to organise and manage my time. I also do my notes in mind maps, so it’s easier to memorise. A typical weekday would consist of seven hours at school including lunch and cheer practice. I usually complete my homework and study at home as well.
What advice would you give students who aspire to pick up this sport?
Cheerleading is an amazing sport! Since I started cheerleading, my life has changed for the better. Passion is very important in cheerleading, so make sure you have it in you! Stay motivated, be positive and don’t let people tell you that you’re not good enough. Determination is the key to success in cheerleading – and pretty much everything else in life too.
Catch Adriana’s team in action at CHEER 2015 on Aug 15 at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre! Admission is free.
For more information on CHEER 2015, click here.
Proving she wasn’t just a Material Girl, Madonna Louise Ciccone donned school colours in her freshman and sophomore years, all while getting straight A’s and earning a scholarship to the University of Michigan.
Did you know?
According to About.com, it is estimated that there are over four million cheerleaders in the world.