Contrary to popular belief, cheerleading is not a bitchy and frivolous sport of pretty faces and pompoms flying, as popularized by the Bring It On film franchise. At least, that’s the case here at USC Cheer! It is a vigorous athletic activity that requires a keen sense of balance and rhythm, controlled strength, flexibility, stamina, and plenty of determination and trust; perhaps even the only sport that requires the full commitment and presence of each team member to ensure the success of the stunt.
Neither is cheer an extremely dangerous sport, though at times we may come across reports of accidents occurring. We often emphasize that the chemistry between the base pairs is crucial, while the flyers have to trust – quite literally with their lives – the bases to catch them, even if it means getting hurt. With proper guidance and strict adherence to safety requirements, the risks that come with cheerleading are as uncommon as most other non-violent sports. And the scene of flyers sent to heights of 3 or 4 m is truly a sight to behold!
The Cheer Interest Group was formed after the Rag’10 cheer squad continued to meet to cheer weekly, under the guidance of ‘Cheer Mama’ Shu Ying (the most experienced flyer and Rag choreographer). From those days of training in the Sports Recreation Centre using Judo mats and learning from YouTube videos, Cheer now has coaches from KRSteppers (the cheerleading squad from Kent Ridge Hall) with practices in the RC twice weekly, this time with their own proper cheer mats! Today, the team led by Spencer mainly consists of past Rag performers, and it is heartening to see that some who either claim to have been ‘duped’ into joining Cheer, or who otherwise stumbled into Cheer simply because of their physique, remain as committed members of the team.
Aside from Rag, Cheer has performed at various USP events such as Parents Night 2011, Open House 2011 and other FOP events. Our latest performance was Parents Night 2012, and there is talk about performing in a combined UTown event soon. It remains our hope to advance to cheerleading on the national level. If all goes well, a team of five will represent us at the Singapore National Cheerleading Championships – beyond what we thought we could have achieved! To us, this will be more than just putting up a good routine; instead we hope that this will give us the visibility and credibility to attract the numbers and commitment so that USP Cheer can become a fully-fledged squad.
If you would like to join the Cheer Interest Group, you can contact Spencer at 94591423. You can also visit their Facebook page.