Tuesday, March 30, 2010

6th entry

2nd video by Kahau. This guy is also truely improving alot, seen him develop his skills from scratch and now he is truely a champion. Great job by Jasmine too, I always knew you are full of potential. Cannot wait to see more from you 2.

Monday, March 29, 2010

1 week left

1 week left for March Video of the month challenge...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

5th entry

This video is uploaded and tagged by arguably the one of most promising young talent, at the age of 17, Weihan from Gusto. I would never have thought you would become so amazing the first time I saw you 3 to 4 years ago, but you did it. Upload a video of your tumbling the next time too k.

P.S: With this video you have announced your presence to the entire cheer scene in Singapore; we shall await more from you. Jiayou.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Full squad standing back tucks

A week has passed since the Nationals. I think a lot of you have rested enough and some even felt restless already and began to train again, but of course there are also those who had decided to call it a day too for whatever reasons.

As I mentioned before, Singapore cheerleading standards are improving each year and cheerleaders getting stronger and better each year too. So what is next after aiming to be or winning the National Champion? I guess the answer is to move on to the next stage, which is to aim to be ASEAN, Asia or International Champion. Some may think you must be joking, that this is a far cry away, with so many countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and USA, etc still way ahead of us. But to dare to dream about it we must. Only those with dreams strive to move on, and without dreams, you will never succeed.

I think having a Singapore National Team is going to become a reality real soon, where the best of the best cheerleaders gather; it is now even closer than before as the pool of cheerleaders increases. You know, after watching from the sidelines for 2 years, my hands are really itching to be in a routine; I have waited 2 years to be in a truly magnificent routine, one that we can proudly showcase Singapore cheerleading. This is when I started doing some self reflection, looking deeper into it; thinking when the time comes whether I will be considered to try out for the National Team.

Hence I did some analysis in my head and also went to my Facebook friends to go through all the male cheerleaders I know. I was trying to assess each individual’s strength, to see where I fit in, and what I found out surprises and really excites me. To try to quantify how much we improved over the past 2 years, I listed and wrote down on a paper names of guy cheerleaders who can do at least 2 gymnastics passes (not including those cartwheel round off or backward roll forward roll), and at the same time can also do an unassisted cupie (I think doing a cupie is quite a fair and reasonable gauge for stunt proficiency now). My results truly put numbers and figures on the improvement of cheerleading and cheerleaders of Singapore.

Just 2 years ago, the case for male cheerleaders was that those who can tumble cannot stunt as well, and those who can stunt well cannot tumble; it was harder to find an all rounder then. But now, as of today, that fact has changed so much that it is no longer valid. I shall list out below the names of these people who can tumble and do an unassisted cupie. These names are cheerleaders who I have met personally and those that I have seen with my own eyes doing the tumbling and cupie before. And if I did miss out any, or I do not know you or that you can do it, I apologize and you can let me know. Here goes in random order:

Guy Cheerleaders who can Cupie and Tumble
1. Andra (Legacy)
2. Jen (Legacy)
3. Weihoe (Wildcards)
4. Isaac (Wildcards)
5. Zhiliang (Wildcards)
6. Chaang Ru (Wildcards)
7. Sky (Denvers)
8. Zhao Xuan (Denvers)
9. Kah Weng (Aces)
10. Graham ( Aces)
11. Minghui (Aces)
12. Wenliang (Aces)
13. Junting (Aces)
14. Yuenbo (Aces)
15. XP (Aces)
16. Kelvin (Aces)
17. Clement (Gusto)
18. Weihan (Gusto)
19. Dominic (Gusto)
20. Vincent (Magnum)

Ok, and out of these 20,
- 12 of them can do Toss Cupie
- 19 of them can do Standing Back Tuck.
- 7 of them can do ≥3 tumbling passes, and out of these 7, I have seen 4 of them did Toss Cupie.

When I saw the list I wrote down, the first thing that comes to my mind is WOW! I cannot slack off if I want to have a chance to be in the National Team when it is formed. A lot of people can do cupie or toss cupie, but tumbling is indeed a big part of cheerleading. So for those names not in the above list, it is time you know what you require to work on. Of course the criteria to form a National Team does not purely rely on these statistics above (Currently it does not means if you can tumble and do a toss cupie, you surely can get in, although it does help alot). Team dynamics, team spirit, commitment level, routine requirements and various other factors also plays a big part in selection of a team. But of course, the main factor is whether you want to become part of the National Team, if you do not want to be for whatever reasons, no one can force you.

I sincerely hope everyone can lend their support so that the formation of a strong National Team can become a reality. Imagine a team that does full squad standing back tucks, 7 toss cupies, 4 basket toss twist layouts, 3 full up gladiators and everyone queuing to do their passes in 3 to 4 counts of eights for gymnastics. All these are already possible for Singapore, if we all can pool our resources together, forget about any differences and work towards ONE common goal.

P.S: My apologies again if I missed out any names, but my point is simple - there are a lot of good cheerleaders out there now. So guys do you still think you can afford to not even know how to do a standing back tuck?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Passion Run

Yes I have signed up for 100plus PAssion Run 10km. My first registered run and also my first step to running a full marathon.

P.S: Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

4th entry

I was tagged in this video uploaded by Ochi from Wildcards. I think the video was meant to be for laughs, but since I was tagged and there is still an element of cheerleading stunts in it, it shall be considered the 4th entry. Got win or not, have fun can liao. haha.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3rd entry

3rd video was uploaded and tagged by Jay from Legacy All Stars. You stand a chance to win $50

P.S: Results will be known on the 5th of April for this month's challenge. Pls make all entries by the 4th.


Well I thought I had quite a long post already, but here's another post that I felt had alot of content worth digesting too. But caution as it may not be for the faint hearted.

Pls go here to read it.

P.S: Everyone is entitled their own opinion, so listeners or readers do take it constructively.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Post Nationals

First of all I would like to praise all the participants of the 1st Singapore Nationals Cheerleading Championships, after all the hard and seemingly endless trainings, you all have done very well executing the routine in front of a packed house. I would also like to congratulate all the championship winning teams, you guys definetely raise the standards to another level again. Gone will be the days people are amazed by full ups, 7 single liberties and twist layouts; all these have become a norm. I will be expecting to see 540/720 ups, 7 cupies and many more twist layouts, X Out Fulls next year; only then you can deserve to win the title next year.

Next of course I would like to mention about the competition itself. With ever increasing standards and expectations in the level of cheerleading performances, it is only logical that we need to have ever increasing standards of organizing the competition. This year, the event was held at Expo Hall 2, an indoor arena. This year was a complete makeover from all previous nationals, where they were held either mostly in shopping centres or places of interest before. This year, there were seats for over 1000 capacity audience, seats for participants of competition and also a large warm up area. The mats used for the competition were also improved and I can say to become of international standards. There were also many sponsors for the event and most noticible must be the milo sponsors who provided a milo van with free flow milo.

I also have some comments on my part after the event. I don't know how much is it applicable to Singapore cheerleading competition to have the participants and warm up area separated from the audience, because I would think that alot of the audience are friends and families and they would love to be with the competitors to wish them well or help them prepare and vice versa. For me, I really want to be able to mix with the participants, even though I am just an audience. During my time in overseas competition, we were also separated from the general audience, but it does not seems to mean or impact much then as we had no friends overseas. The difference overseas it seems is because of alot of walk in crowds, people who just come for a good show of cheerleading without know any participants. I think that is what we will want to hope to achieve in Singapore too. However for now if the separation is deem as necessary, the ushers that day did not strictly enforced it. This is just an observation I make and some food for thought. Maybe we can still enforce the rule but more passes to be given out to every team? Other than that I felt all the arrangement that day was excellent.

I also felt that with the great success of the event this year, hopefully we will get to host the event at a bigger indoor stadium next year and with more marketing starting earlier. This year we have more people watching than we had seats and I have got feedbacks that had more public been aware of the event, much more people will come. As we all know that the event this year was organized by Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and sponsored by Federation of Cheerleading Singapore (FCS), that is a main reason for us to be able to have it in such great settings and great sponsors. The only way to have continued or increased support from SSC is for us to continue to grow and develop together, to meet the KPI set for us, to gain more public interest, to draw in more crowd, hence more sponsors. And the way to draw in more crowd is to put up a great show, to have more and more teams that can wow the audience.

So as cheerleaders, if we want to have a event befitting and potray the right image of cheerleading as a sport or a increase in profile of cheerleading and cheering scene in Singapore, we all have to work hard together to not only increase the standards at the top, but also to spread cheerleading and cheering far and wide. Everything has a cycle, it's a chicken and egg issue, if standards rise, then more people join, then more people watch, then more support and sponsors, then more money, then the money goes back into cheerleading, then more people want to join, then more coaches required, then with more coaches, the standard rise again, then it keeps expanding on and on in a cycle.

Ok, I seemed to have digressed a bit from the National Competition that day itself. The day was indeed very enjoyable to me from an audience point of view, to be able to sit back comfortably and watch the teams put up their routines. I was also very happy to see the Cheering category, a new initiative by SSC, to see all the cute primary schools cheerleaders cheering. This is also a market to help expand the reach of cheerleading, to include those cheering squads without the big stunts. Everything was good and approaching the end of the day, when I felt the anti climax to the whole experience; that is the annoucement of the final result of the day, the open category team champion. Well this has nothing to do with the event whatsoever, but just an act of fate to have the points tied even after considering the scores of all 5 judges (Normally take only 3 judges' score). In all the past years, we have ties for 2nd place or 3rd place, but for the first time we had a tie for the champions; well I guess it can happen too.

I guess non of the players from NTU ACES or Ulu Pandan Wildcards are satisfied with the outcome. Myself would be thinking if want just let me win and celebrate, if not just let me lose and cry; be it happy or sad emotions, just let me handle and deal with them, so I can learn from them, and not give me a WTF feeling. It's like not competing at all if we cannot have an outcome, as it is this outcome that we had all been seeking, working hard the entire year to find out; but after all the effort, there is still no answer to what we seek. Well this will be a major talking point for quite a while.

Nonetheless a great team is not defined by 1 single competition, but over time, to build their reputation. Now that we have a tie, I guess both teams should be given the option to go compete in CAIO in Japan. If it's the difference you guys are seeking, I guess you can try to find it over in Japan. Now that we have competitions all year round in various countries, a strong team will be one that is able to do well all year round in any competition.

To sum it up, the event organization this year was fantastic, a great venue, great crowd, great sponsors, pretigious guests, honourable judges to judge all the excellent performances of high standards; and put all that together, we have raised the notch for Singapore Cheerleading once again.

P.S: I would really love to see ACES and Wildcards "battle it out" in Japan.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2nd entry for video of the month

2nd video was uploaded and tagged by Ken. Great job.

1st Singapore National Cheerleading Championships 2010

Today is the last day of all the hard trainings everyone put in for the 1st Singapore National Cheerleading Championships 2010. There may only be 1 team holding up the champions trophy, but everyone's already a winner in their own right.

Jiayou everyone and put up your best show tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1st entry

We have our 1st ever entry for the video of the month challenge. It was uploaded and tagged by Tan Kahau and he stand a chance to win $100 to be announce on 5th April 10.

Friday, March 12, 2010

~2 days left to the end of "early bird" promotion for the video of the month challenge.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Front Hand Spring Round Off Back Tuck

Was just playing around the other day. Then I started to do some FHS cause long time never do. And it felt good, so I tried to connect it to a round off.

I did not really expect to be able to connect it, as I did not train that for a really long time.

Then have to thanks to KW for psychoing me to just add a back tuck. I did FHSRO a few more times and it felt good, so I just threw in the back tuck. Hhaha and I did it.

This pass was one that I hoped to do for the longest time; ever since the day I saw Ting and Pond from RSU did it in "To Be Number 1 Competition 2005". I even tried to do it for my last nationals in 2008, but just cannot hit it. Then now, without really thinking much I did it.

This really means alot to me, and brings back the fire for more.

P.S: I think losing all those weight made it possible for me without even realising it myself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Are you irreplaceble?

Have anyone ever told you to work hard or train hard to improve and become very proficient in your work or skills, so that you can become irreplaceble/indispensible?

There is some truth in that statement and it carries with it a certain amount of motivation. Up till a certain level, I would endorse this statement, since it promotes people to work harder, to become the best.

In this world, no one is truely irreplaceble. But if ideally you really can truely become irreplaceble, would you want that? It means you are really excellent, the best in whatever you do.

As I move along in life, my views and take of issues changes as I grow and learn from my seniors. In my opinion now, I would not be too happy if someone told me I am irreplaceble.

"Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, it means you can’t be promoted."

Share, teach and motivate your subordinates, fellow colleagues or teammates.
One day, one of them may replace you because of your promotion.
Your promotion will be much easier if you are replaceable.
If you are irreplaceble in that role of your job, chances are your boss is not going to promote you; else who is going to do that job for him since no one can replace you?

We should all share as much as we can, help those after us. This is the only way we can move on to greater things, instead of being stuck and becoming a victim of our own magnificence. We should always work to nurture people to someday take over us.

P.S: There is no hard and fast rule for everything. We need to progress with time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

6 Years ago

Today is exactly 6 years since I took part in my first Nationals Finals in 07 March 2004. It feels like a neither long nor short time.

P.S: Everyone Jiayou for the final lap to Nationals 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Video of the Month

It has been a little over 6 years now since I first got to know cheerleading in 2003. In fact my first Nationals Finals was on 07 March 2004; 6 years anniversary in 2 days' time. I feel that to me having growth is the most important thing in life, and it applies to cheerleading as well.

A simplified summary of my time in cheerleading:

2003 - 2004: Purely a player for Hall 4 and ACES
2004 - 2007: Mainly a player for ACES and coach of Hall 4
2007 - 2008: Player/Coach of ACES and coach of Hall 4
2008 - 2009: Ad-Hoc coaching and guest instructor for Wildcards
2010 - present : Judge for NTU HO Cheerleading and to be determined.

Everyone in cheer starts off pretty much the same, as a player, then slowly learn the ropes and take on a bit more responsibilities as a captain or committee member. While alot of people might just end here, there are also those who carried on their growth in cheer, to become a instructor, a coach or just a senior mentor. Next, they will become judges and then/or at the same time go into management and promoting of the sport on a macro level.

The above is just a typical example, or 1 close to mine. Growth to me is very important in whatever I do, I do not like the feeling of being stagnant. I do not want to be only a player all my life, I want to look for new challenges. Not everyone's path or route taken are the same, in fact most will be so different (We can know that from a simple afternoon sharing session - everyone has different stories). However I believe and hope that more people can go beyond the stage of just being a player, or for those who felt that their player's years are over to move on, to contribute back to Singapore Cheerleading in many other ways.

I believe that most cheerleaders can agree with me that cheerleading changed their lives in more ways than 1. Most would have treasured the times they had in cheer, despite of all the hectic schedules, injuries, sacrifices and grievances. It will forever become a deep part of their memories in life. Now if we did enjoyed our time and appreciate what cheer had done for us; I feel that it will be very nice if we can return the favour and spread the joy to many new and future generations of cheerleaders, so that they can get to experience the many positives cheerleading has done for us too.

Today is the 5th again, 05 March 2010. It marks 3 years and 7 months since the beginning of X-Wonder. Today I am going to start a new project, as a form of contribution to Singapore Cheerleading, and also hoping that I will be able to drive and promote the sport, even if it is just a little more.

I rememebered us ACES old seniors used to dream of having an ACES scholarship for studying in NTU and Chaang had this similar vision to provide a scholarship for cheerleaders in Singapore. I do not have such deep pockets now, to help relieve people of their financial burdens, but I think I have enough to provide some encouragement or a pat on the back for those who want it most.

Ok, enough of beating around the bush, here it goes:

X-Wonder Video of the Month Challenge

Details of challenge: Record/make/create a personal video of minimum 10 Secs; of anything related to cheerleading with yourself in it. It can be Gymnastics, Partner stunts, Jumps, Tosses, Cheer, Pyramids etc. You can also do video edits to add music or effects to enhance it. Then upload the video to facebook and tag me (Xwonder Estrella) in the video; it will be automatically be considered as an entry for the challenge. I will watch and review all entries, then at the end of each month, on every 5th, I will announce the winner on this blog (my decision is final).

Participant's eligibility: You are eligible as long as you cheer in Singapore; regardless of nationality, team, age, or gender. Of course you need to be on Facebook and is my friend to tag me. No tagging of entries on behalf of another person in the video allowed. If you are not yet my friend on Facebook, just add me using the link at top of the page. Only people present in the video can tag me to be considered a "valid tag"

Prizes: $50 cash to the winner each month. In cases of more than 1 person in the video, the prize will be given to the person who tagged me (then you can go split it on your own if you want to). Or in the case of multiple "valid tags", the prize will be split. In the event there is no entry for the month, the prize money will accumulate and be brought over to the next month. Prize money is subjected to increase at any time without notice.

Alright, Sounds simple enough? Should be. You guys are already doing this, only now someone wants to give you money for it. Does this sound good? Is it enough?

Ok, Since I am very happy today as it is TGIF and also my "monthsary", I shall offer a first month only promotion: All entries made before 14 March, 2359hrs will receive double the prize, a prize of $100, should they become the winning entry.

So don't wait anymore and let the camera roll.

P.S: Let's do our part to make cheer a better place in SG

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You gotta try these!

One day I received a call from KC, telling me that he had something nice for me that night. I asked him what is it and he said Jara-Petit mini CheeseCups. I had heard so much about Jiahui's famous delicious cheesecups and finally I was going to get a chance to eat it. That day I was so looking forward to it, ever since the time we were training our groups stunts for CWC in Germany, that I had minimum lunch and dinner so I can enjoy them to the fullest.

I immediately told Xuewei and ask her to come my house after dinner to enjoy it together. In the end her brother came as well, all the way just to try the unique cheesecups which we told him about once. (I was a bit pissed, because it means I cannot eat as much. Haha, Just kidding.)

Comes in a very beautiful packaging, great as a gift. I loved the blue ribbons.

Xuewei's little brother holding up the name card. Cannot see the card well though.

A close up shot for a better view

Let's see what we have inside the box...

Wow 6 different flavoured cheesecups

We have Durian, Strawberry, Green Tea, Plain, Oreo and Chocolate

Some shots of us eating the tasty cheesecups.

I tried them and they all tasted very very nice. The taste is like the cheese cakes you can normally find out there, just much nicer. And the idea of them in a mini cup makes it very easy to eat and very convenient too.

Some close up shots of the cheesecups.




Eating Intently

Xuewei and Brother

Xuewei and me

Simply Thumb ups

All the cheesecups were gone in a flash

If any cleaner I'd have to lick the cups

Once again thank you Jara-Petit for the wonderful mini cheesecups

To sum it up, Jara-Petit Mini CheeseCups is delicious, an ideal dessert for any occasion, or simply when you have a sweet tooth. They certainly also make the perfect gift for friends and especially some one you are chasing after (Imagine you can tell the story about the cheesecups to someone you are after, while she/he is eating it; a good conversation starter).

If you guys want to try them or find out more, please go to http://jara-petit.com/.

P.S: Take the step forward, no venture no gain.