WHILE the more experienced cheerleading teams were tossing their members into the air, some of the newcomers were desperately trying to do the split.
Teacher, cannot...lah! several students of SMK(P) Sri Mutiara moaned as they tried stretching their legs during a Cheer 2006 cheerleading clinic at the Komtar Geodesic Dome in Penang yesterday.
The clinic was a prelude to the Cheer 2006 regional competition which will be held today at the same venue.
Cheer 2006 is Malaysia's premier inter-school cheerleading competition which is jointly organised by The Star Youth2 and Clean & Clear.
SMK (P) Sri Mutiara English tea- cher Alina Ismail said this would be the third time the school was taking part but most of the 16 team members were new.
Team captain Wee Cheow Li, who could do the split effortlessly, said they had only two weeks to practise their routine because of their examinations and recent school break.
Some 100 people, including mem- bers of the public, took part in the cheerleading clinic to learn safety measures and basic moves from experts.
Among the non-competitors present yesterday was a group of 33 students from SMK Kulim led by English teacher Anna Cherubin.
I brought a smaller group to the very first cheerleading clinic in Penang four years ago and now I see that there are many cheerleaders (from other schools) who are good, said Cherubin, adding that her school had yet to set up a cheerleading team.
American Anne Gorman from the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education conducted the clinic toge- ther with three members of the Bri- tish Cheerleading Association Lianne Weston, Matthew Elder and Damien Drazkiewcz.
Eight teams from the northern region will take part in the regional competition which will start at 9.30am.
Admission is free.