A CROWD cheered as some cheerleaders were tossed high into the air before falling into the arms of their teammates at the Cheer 2017 Clinic.
Held at the Jeffrey Cheah Hall in Sunway University, nine cheerleading teams performed difficult stunts in a practice round, in preparation for the finals on Aug 19 in Tropicana City Mall, Petaling Jaya.
Back for the 18th year, Cheer 2017 is organised by Star Media Group’s youth platform R.AGE together with the official partner, entertainment, lifestyle and mobile network operator XOX Mobile Sdn Bhd.
Coached by the members from Cheerleading Association and Register of Malaysia (Charm), participants were advised on their routines and stunts performed.
“The clinic was indeed a good coaching session in the run-up to the finals,” said Zodiac team member from SMK Kepong Ulu, Ong Zi En.
The 14-year-old cheerleader was joined by her team captain Ashlynn Wong who said their choreography was more challenging this year.
“Last year, our routine was quite easy but this time we decided to include more difficult stunts,” she said.
During the one-day clinic session, participants were high spirited and went all out with their routines despite it only being a practice round.
Each team were given seven minutes to warm up before the chance to perform in front of the Charm members who were on hand to guide them.
“To us, it is not all about winning, getting a gold medal is a bonus but we also want our team to enjoy the competition,” said Calyx All Girls team captain Valerie Yap.
The 17-year-old representing SMK Katholik, said their 19-member team grew over the years and upgraded their stunt levels.
At Cheer 2016, Calyx All Girls won runner-up in the High School Senior All-girl category.
“We are determined to do better this year as we now have more senior members on the team compared to last year where we had only three,” she said.
She said their 10-year-old team used to be made up of more senior cheerleaders, but most of them graduated and the team was left with only three seniors and the rest junior members.
Joining them for the first half of the clinic session was team Blitzers representing SMK Damansara Utama 4 and Valcanz All Girls team from SMK Seafield.
Meanwhile, the afternoon session was attended by SUC Senior and SUC Junior from Sunway University College, Calyx Coed from SMK Katholik, Zodiac Coed from SMK Kepong Ulu and Dynamick from SMK Damansara Jaya.
“There was definitely a lot of passion from these teams and that is what sport is about to me,” said Charm president Chong Siew Han.
He added that it was the same every year where the competition had teams that showed good fighting spirit, where they were naturally in it to win.
But Chong hoped the competition would also be a festive, fun and challenging one.
When asked if there were new rules for participants, he said no, but they would be more lenient this year in terms of their outfits.
“There is no strict rule about the length of the shirt. However, participants must be mindful that their skirts are not too short,” he said, adding that the hemline should be seven inches (17cm) from the knee.
Marks will be deducted during the competition if judges find the skirts inappropriate.
Sunway University College was the venue sponsor for the Cheer 2017 clinic.
The event is supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry, Education Ministry and Charm.
Nivea, Oishi Green Tea, Canmake, Starbucks, Good Virtues Co and Lost World of Tambun were goodie bag sponsors.
Originally a competition that featured the All-Girls and the Co-Ed Division with All-Boys and MixedTeams, Cheer has expanded to include the University Co-Ed Elite Division last year.
Download entry forms and get updates on Cheer 2017 at facebook.com/thestarcheer