By AMANDA YEAP
CHEER season is finally upon us! The first major cheerleading battle of the year took place in Ipoh last week during the CHEER Northern Regionals, and it was the perfect teaser for the season’s grand finale – the national CHEER 2015 Finals.
But first, the regionals. The competition up north was a fierce battle between two schools from Ipoh. Both sent two teams – the Titans and Titans Junior from SMJK Ave Maria Convent, and Thunder and Thunder Junior from Poi Lam High School.
You could feel the adrenaline in the air as the competition kicked off to tremendous screams from the crowd and the cheerleaders.
Dancing energetically to the beat of fast-paced music, the cheerleaders were unfailingly enthusiastic while performing stunts like somersaults and high flying basket tosses.
Once again, it was the mighty Titans that took first place, cementing its reputation as the team to beat up in the north.
Its sister team Titans Junior was not far behind, as they finished second, while Team Thunder came in third.
Captaining the Titans for the first time, Yeong Gwyneth, 16, said it was quite a struggle for her and the team to juggle between keeping up with their studies and training.
“We have exams coming up soon, but I believe we can train hard and study hard as well. It’s all about learning to find a balance,” she said, adding that she was extremely proud of her team’s performance.
Even though the Titans finished in a very respectable fifth place at last year’s CHEER Finals, Yeong said the team is striving hard to up their game.
“Let’s not talk about beating any other team. The most important thing is that we do our best and maintain our top five placing in the finals,” she said. In a field of over 40 teams, that could be quite a challenge, but Yeong is confident nonetheless.
Titans teacher advisor Mariana Lopez said the team has had quite a few setbacks to overcome this year.
“They’ve been training very hard, but sadly, this year the team has been plagued with quite a number of injuries.
“They are very energetic on the mat, but when they finish their performances, a lot of them struggle with pain and use a lot of anesthetic spray. They really do give it their all,” she said.
As the teams from Kuala Lumpur are very strong, Lopez said she hopes the Titans will be able to do better against them this time around.
All three winning teams in the regionals will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Kuala Lumpur. They will be among some 40 teams competing at CHEER 2015 at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in Petaling Jaya on Aug 15.
To find out more about CHEER 2015, and to watch a R.AGE original video series on the local cheerleading scene, go to rage.com.my/CHEER.