Singapore, 25 March 2012 - More than 500 participants from 44 teams competed for top honours in their respective divisions at the National Cheerleading Championships (NCC) 2012. Organised by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and Federation of Cheerleading (Singapore), this year's participation field was the largest in the three-year history of the competition, and featured a brand new category for the community to participate in under the event's 'Freestyle' cheering segment.
2. Guest-of-Honour Madam Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, along with Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer, SSC and Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive Director, People's Association, were present to enjoy a slew of cheerleading performances put up by various teams. For the first time, with the support of the People's Association, nine teams comprising members from four to 74 years of age, represented various community clusters and wowed the crowd with their creative cheers, simple arm motions and visually appealing props. The performance of Albirex Cheerleading School, who represented Yuhua Constituency, earned them the title of the top community team in freestyle cheering while KR Steppers representing NUS Kent Ridge Hall secured victory in the open category under the same segment.
3. "The National Cheerleading Championships is about celebrating the joy and excitement of cheering together as a team, and collectively as a community. Through cheering, we can also promote community bonding where friends and families come together to support their local sporting icons and teams," said Madam Halimah. She also called upon Singaporeans to invite their families, friends and neighbours to cheer on the participants for the Community Games and the Singapore National Games.
4. The impact of a powerful cheer on athlete or team performance should never be underestimated, agreed Mr Lim. "When we cheer, we form a bond with the players and with each other as sports fans and, most important, as Singaporeans. We send a message, loud and clear, to the athletes and teams that we are standing proud and united with them. As Team Singapore prepares for the London 2012 Olympic Games, let us come together as a nation and show them our tremendous support through cheering."
5. Pasir Ris Sports Hall was packed to the rafters with a full house of 2,500 energetic supporters who cheered their hearts out for their favourite teams. The jubilant crowd watched in excitement as the teams in the 'Competitive' cheerleading segment battled it out with displays of high-flying stunts and loud cheers. After two days of intense competition, SP Gusto (A) emerged as the Overall Champion of NCC 2012.
6. Clutching on to the championship trophy, the team captain of SP Gusto (A) Samuel Liao said, "We are thrilled at being crowned 'Overall Champion' for the second year in a row at the National Cheerleading Championships. I?m glad that the great amount of hard work and effort put in by the team to perfect our cheerleading routine has paid off with this award!"
7. SP Gusto (A), who are also the winners of the Institute of Higher Learning category under the 'Competitive' cheerleading segment, will get to showcase their talent at the ASEAN Basketball League match between the Singapore Slingers and KL Dragons on 1 April at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. They will be joined by Ulu Pandan Wildcards, who took the gold in the open category under the same segment. Other top honours within the segment went to Shooting Stars from St Hilda's Primary School (primary school) and MG Sizzlers from Methodist Girls' School (secondary school & junior college).
8. Results for the group and partner stunts events held yesterday were also announced, with KR Steppers (all female) and Ulu Pandan Wildcards (mixed and open), capturing the top spot in their respective categories.
9. "We are exhilarated to see such a huge turnout for the Cheerleading Championships this year. There is a significant increase in the number of teams from various institutes and a marked improvement in the overall perfection, difficulty and spirit of the cheers performed. To achieve that, teammates must learn to work closely with one another to overcome difficulties encountered, just like any other sport. Exposure to a greater pool of the public to our sport is a pillar in the development of Cheerleading in Singapore, and is the right way for Cheerleading to progress here," said Mr Ong Wei Cheng, President, Federation of Cheerleading (Singapore).
10. Highlights of NCC 2012 will be broadcast on SuperSports Arena (StarHub TV Channel 201) on 24 April 2012, 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
11. NCC 2012 is held in conjunction with the Let's Play movement, an initiative by SSC to encourage all Singaporeans to embrace a sporting lifestyle, be it through playing, watching, cheering or volunteering for sports.