Close
Exit

THE 39 secondary school cheerleading teams that competed at CHEER 2015 came from very different backgrounds. Some had to sell T-shirts at school just so they could buy their uniforms; others had sponsors who could pay for pretty much everything they needed.

Some of the students will go on to have full-time careers as professional athletes, cheerleaders and coaches. Others, like Team Ignite from SMK Bandar Baru Uda, were there because a dedicated teacher believes a positive sport like cheerleading could help them turn their lives around.

The Cyrens cheering their way to an incredible sixth consecutive CHEER All-Girls category title.

The Cyrens cheering their way to an incredible sixth consecutive CHEER All-Girls category title.

But whatever their differences, when they all gathered at the CHEER 2015 Finals last Saturday at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, they were united in their passion for a sport that has taught them discipline, teamwork, determination and sportsmanship.

Despite their fierce will to win, having trained all year for CHEER 2015, the teams and their supporters could be heard cheering their rivals on – and some of these teams have been rivals for over a decade at CHEER.

This mutual respect and support has become a trademark of CHEER as much as the cheerleaders’ incredible stunts.
“What CHEER has taught me is that there’s more to just winning,” said Genevieve Liew, 17, captain of the Cyrens from SM Sri Kuala Lumpur. “It has made me a better, more compassionate person because I have so many teammates to care for.”

The atmosphere at CHEER 2015 was as electric as ever, with the supporters keeping the hall buzzing throughout the day.

The atmosphere at CHEER 2015 was as electric as ever, with the supporters keeping the hall buzzing throughout the day.

The Cyrens won a remarkable sixth consecutive CHEER All-Girls category title this year, making them the most successful team in the 16-year history of CHEER. Their sister team, Rayvens, also won their category, All-Girls Junior, for a third time in a row.

But that CHEER spirit isn’t confined to the students at the event. For many of the teams, the event has helped bring together everyone at their schools – students, teachers and parents.

Most schools chartered buses to bring supporters to the event, including SMK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh. They sent four buses full of supporters to KL to cheer on their school’s teams, Titans Senior and Titans Junior.

And with a sport as demanding as cheerleading, parental support is crucial. That’s where the term “cheer parent” came about – and it’s used around the world.

“Our parents helped us a lot, with makeup and bringing us food and water. We are so thankful to them, as well as everyone who came to support us,” said Yim Hor Yew, 17, captain of Calyx All-Girls, SMJK Katolik. Her team put in a brilliant performance to finish second in the All-Girls category.

CHEER Celebrity Supporter Dennis Yin doing the #NaeNae with his adopted team, the Calyx All-Girls. Yin paid the team a surprise visit ahead of the CHEER Finals, and clearly inspired them as they came in second in their category.

CHEER Celebrity Supporter Dennis Yin doing the #NaeNae with his adopted team, the Calyx All-Girls. Yin paid the team a surprise visit ahead of the CHEER Finals, and clearly inspired them as they came in second in their category.

The other big winner of the day was the Mickeymitez from SMK Damansara Jaya, who claimed top spot in the Co-Ed category (for mixed-gender teams), popular for its high-flying stunts. They reclaimed the title from defending champions Zodiac Co-Ed, whose hopes this year were dashed by a few minor slips during their routine.

“The gap between the top teams is closing,” said CHEER 2015 head judge and Cheerleading Association and Register of Malaysia president Beverly Hon. “It now requires far more careful deliberation before we can award a winner, but that’s good because it shows the sport is progressing,” she added.

A Zelts cheerleader performing an elevated scorpion stunt at CHEER 2015. The Zelts are the cheerleading club of Seri Emas International School, and they sent three teams to compete at the CHEER 2015 Finals.

A Zelts cheerleader performing an elevated scorpion stunt at CHEER 2015. The Zelts are the cheerleading club of Seri Emas International School, and they sent three teams to compete at the CHEER 2015 Finals.

CHEER 2015 was supported this year by two brands – U Mobile, the co-sponsor, and Clean & Clear, the official skincare partner – and both their representatives at the finals were incredibly impressed.

“It looks easy, but there are a lot of physical and emotional challenges to cheerleading, and we really admire the cheerleaders for their skill and tenacity,” said Clean & Clear group brand manager June Yap.

U Mobile chief marketing officer Jasmine Lee was glad to finally learn more about the cheerleaders’ personal stories, through the CHEER video series produced by R.AGE. “I loved them! They show people that cheerleading is not a frivolous activity. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it, and we love the fighting spirit the cheerleaders showed in the videos!”

There were tears of joy, and disappointment, as each winner was announced at CHEER. Here, the Rayvens from SM Sri Kuala Lumpur celebrate their third All-Girls Junior title in a row. Their sister team, Cyrens, won an incredible sixth consecutive All-Girls title.

There were tears of joy, and disappointment, as each winner was announced at CHEER. Here, the Rayvens from SM Sri Kuala Lumpur celebrate their third All-Girls Junior title in a row. Their sister team, Cyrens, won an incredible sixth consecutive All-Girls title.

Some of the celebrities who took part in R.AGE’s CHEER Celebrity Supporter campaign were also at the finals to support their adopted teams, and they were blown away as well.

YouTuber Reuben Kang was visibly touched by what he saw. “We watched a lot of the R.AGE videos before the teams came on and we were just holding back our tears listening to the stories,” said Reuben, who was there with fellow YouTubers Marianne Tan, Jared Lee, Dennis Yin and Dan Khoo.

Over 8,000 spectators converged at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre throughout the day at the CHEER 2015 Finals.

Over 8,000 spectators converged at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre throughout the day at the CHEER 2015 Finals.

Deputy education minister P. Kamalanathan, guest of honour at CHEER 2015, was so impressed, he said he hoped to see cheerleading incorporated into Malaysian schools’ physical education curriculum.

He said: “I think god sent me here today for good reason – to see how electrifying cheerleading can be!”

About

Literature grad-turned-journalist who loves our R.AGE team karaoke nights a little too much. While her literature background has left her with a slightly twisted sense of humour, it has also given her a passion for writing on social issues.

BTW…

Cheering their way to victory

EMOTIONS at CHEER 2017 ran the gamut from cheers to tears as 30 of Malaysia’s best high school and college cheerleading teams gathered to stunt their way into the CHEER hall of fame.  The display of talent was awe-inspiring – technically flawless flips, twirls, and tosses abounded – but of the 30, four of the […]

Read more Like this post3

University-level CHEER

CHEER doesn’t have to end after high school anymore – now, universities can get in on the fun too.

Read more Like this post0

Underdog team Anselm wins big at CHEER 2016!

The Anselm cheerleading team from SMK Infant Jesus Convent stunned the field at CHEER 2016, Malaysia’s biggest cheerleading tournament. Check the full list of winners here!

Read more Like this post0

CHEER cheerleaders keep their eyes on the prize

The CHEER Champion trophies have been officially returned, which means only one thing – the 2016 CHEER Finals are here!

Read more Like this post1

Grab some CHEER

Grab, the official transportation partner for CHEER 2016, is sponsoring rides to the Finals!

Read more Like this post0

CHEER is back!

Dust off those pom-poms and unpack the air horns, because CHEER is back! Here are the deets.

Read more Like this post0

Recipe for cheerleading success

Cheerleaders, parents, teacher advisors and coaches talk about the importance of a good support system in cheerleading.

Read more Like this post3

Sponsors spread good cheer at CHEER 2015

The cheerleaders brought their A-game to CHEER 2015, and so did the product sponsors!

Read more Like this post0

A boost for Malaysian cheerleading

U Mobile and Clean & Clear did some cheerleading of their own by supporting CHEER 2015.

Read more Like this post0

Big bounty

The winning teams at CHEER 2015 took home a whole tonne of prizes thanks to some generous sponsors.

Read more Like this post1

One last cheer

Graduating cheerleaders tell R.AGE what it’s like to say goodbye to CHEER.

Read more Like this post1

Cheerleaders back to school

R.AGE followed three cheerleaders back into their classrooms to see how they’re doing with their return to school, post-CHEER

Read more Like this post1
Go top