IF you had stepped into Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil last weekend during Cheer 2013, you would have marvelled at the energy and showmanship of the participants, and be bowled over by the overwhelming support shown all around.
Students turned up in full force to cheer their respective school teams, and friends and whole families were there to give moral support as well.
“Cheerleading is a very healthy sport, and my daughters have benefited much from it. They learn about determination, dedication and responsibility,” said Sharon Tong, mother of Valerie Yoong, 16, and Rachel Yoong, 15, who are both from the Calyx All Girls.
Tong finds that Cheer motivates students to work towards their goals. “Cheerleading cultivates discipline and this will help students in their studies and future careers,” said Tong.
Wilson Sng, father of Rayvens Junior cheerleader Emma Sng, 14, said that aside from coming to support his daughter and her school, the whole family loves the energetic atmosphere at Cheer.
“We love the loud cheers in the stadium. We also came last year to support our daughter,” said Sng, who brought tambourines to add to the merry noise.
Parents Loh Hun Leng and Doris Tan who came to support their daughter Loh Pui Yee, 15, from the Dynamitez, said that Cheer has helped her become more disciplined.
“The team practised really hard every week for the competition, and they have to learn to balance practice and their studies. Through this, they built confidence and learnt to work together in this team sport,” said Loh.
Grandparents were not to be left out. Many could be spotted among the crowd.
Stanley Benjamin, 70, and Patsy Gan, 67, came to support their granddaughter Sophia Su, 17, who is a Dynamitez cheerleader.
“Never in my life have I seen cheerleaders perform like this. We used to see such showmanship only in the movies, not in real life!’’ said Benjamin.
“It is reassuring to know that they go through proper training by professional coaches. All the necessary steps are taken to ensure the students’ safety.
“Of course, as parents we tend to worry about our children,” said Loh.