Team Pilipinas cheerleading team brings home the bronze from Florida
SAN JOSE, California — Team Pilipinas won the bronze medal at the World Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida, last March.
After consecutively winning the last three cheer competitions during the South East Asian Cheerleading Open, the team wanted to tackle different teams and take its skills up a notch. They found the opportunity to compete in Florida. Twenty-seven girls arrived in Orlando to represent the Philippines in two divisions.
Eduardo David, director of the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC), said, “Cheerleading is a very technical sport and can be subjective a bit. I think that as a team our biggest advantage is that Filipinos are generally small in build.”
He qualified, however, that while “this gives us the advantage of having better flyers, the disadvantage is that we need more people to have a stronger base.”
David added, “Filipinos are innately good dancers, which always helps in our cheer routines. Plus the girls have that Filipino fighting spirit!”
Team Pilipinas is an all girl team that represents the Philippines in international cheerleading competitions. It is comosed of the best of the best cheerleaders in the country.
An open tryout is held every year during the NCC season. An interesting component is that the girls on the team have competed against each other previously while on their mother teams, typically from their schools. Therefore, the team is composed of girls from various schools around the country.
David said, “This recent year was more than we ever expected. For the minimal number of training days we had, we hit the routine even better during the actual, live performance. The girls did everything correctly and we have no regrets. I think we got what we deserved and we will do our best to exceed it next year.”
David is also a part of the organizing committee of the NCC, the biggest competition in the Philippines. The Philippine Cheerleading Alliance (PCA) is the governing body of cheerleading in the Philippines that is recognized by the International Cheerleading Union (ICU), the world governing body of the competition.
Every Filipino cheerleader’s dream is to compete at the ICU level, and Team Pilipinas, with the support of PCA and NCC, helps girls make that dream come true.
He adds, “I head the delegation for Team Pilipinas at international competitions. I am also an ICU International accredited cheerleading judge and the current president of the Philippine Cheerleading Alliance.”
Team Pilipinas and the ICU are urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to officially make cheerleading an Olympic sport. The ultimate goal of the PCA is to spread cheerleading in the Philippines and make people aware that it has to be treated like any other sport. Through the NCC, they go around the country and hold cheerleading camps. This is a way of introducing the sport to those who want to try cheerleading. Since cheerleading is considered a dangerous sport, the camp teaches all about safety and how to do stunts correctly. In addition, the camp teaches spotting which, along with safety, is a top priority.
The girls ranged from an age bracket of 14-19 years old and competed on March 24 under the Group Stunt division which consisted of four girls lifting another girl and delivering their stunts and tricks. The next day, the main competition, twenty-four girls competed under the All Girl Elite division. Around eleven countries were represented and the Philippines were the only Asian country that competed. Being their first time joining this competition, the team did not expect much. The results of their training and effort earned them a podium finish with a bronze medal.
“Hopefully with this recent victory, it has made a big impact to other cheerleaders in the Philippines who watched the competition and want to try out for next year’s batch of girls. As of now, we are looking at a new international competition in Japan next fall and of course the next Orlando, Florida competition will be in 2015. In the meantime, we will continue training and preparing.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.