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.


Wildfire said...

Ouch...I am prepared to get shoot lar...your post cheer com blog is like so mild...mine is like..hahaha...

Wildfire said...

It's good to see competition in Japan, but for poor cheerleaders, funding/sponsorship will be lesser lor..which is like sian...esp poor students

*star* said...

Lixiang I read your blog...

You are just zai.

And I think it really made alot of sense.

You dun mind if I help you publicize it a bit to share right?