Behind the scenes with AOne Star, Cheerleading Coach, Ms Jaymee Tan Yee Ming
We are very excited to introduce today’s My AOne STAR, Jaymee Tan Yee Ming. Jaymee Tan Yee Ming is a cheerleading coach and one of the founders of Cheer Aspirations! Starting at Cheer (Malaysia’s first nationwide inter-school competition back in 2001), she went on to form Malaysia’s first official national team together with co-founder Lim Chee Wei, bringing home numerous titles, and were one of the first Malaysians to attain internationally accredited certifications for coaching and judging.
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Tell us briefly about yourself and Cheer Aspirations.
I am the founder and CEO of Cheer Aspirations, the pioneer and largest cheerleading company in Malaysia. As a cheerleading coach, I am the former coach of Team Malaysia as well as the head coach of the seven time National Champions, Cyrens from SM Sri Kuala Lumpur. This is a historic achievement in Malaysian cheerleading. I am also a cheerleading judge and have judged at the most prestigious international cheerleading championships such as the International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championships (ICU WCC) for the past six years. I have judged all around the world – in Asia, Australia, Europe and the USA.
What does cheerleading mean to you?
There is just so many ways cheerleading has shaped me into who I am today, and that is why cheerleading means a lot to me! One of the gifts cheerleading has given me is confidence. I am very reserved by nature and have a fear of doing anything public. Ironic isn’t it, the ‘shy’ cheerleader? It’s such an amazing phenomenon, cheerleading can transform you positively! I still remember the very first time I performed in front of an audience, I was doing my best to smile but I was told after the performance that I looked really nervous despite my best efforts. Since that day, I taught myself to smile genuinely and perform as confidently as I can. Being a cheerleader and being in front of an audience more often has made me a different person who is much more confident and even able to give a speech at TEDxYouthKL last year! If not for cheerleading, I would never have had this opportunity nor would I have been even capable of giving a TED speech. This, amongst many other reasons is why cheerleading is remarkably special to me!
Why would you encourage someone to choose cheerleading over sport or any other leisure activities?
Cheerleading is very unique. Let me tell you why. First of all, can you think of any other sport that cheers for people, embodies positivity and happiness? Even the word cheerleading is special? The word itself has ‘cheer’ and ‘lead’ in it!
Secondly, cheerleading is all about confidence! Having to cheer in front of crowds of thousands of people, with big smiles and exuding confidence, is not something everyone can do! Surveys show that public speaking is one of the top fears in the world! Cheerleading can help us to conquer that fear!
Thirdly, cheerleading requires teamwork: more than any other sport! If you don’t have team work in a football team, you miss the goal, or have poor defense. In cheerleading, if you build a pyramid but someone makes a mistake, the pyramid will crumble, and that is unacceptable.
What are the benefits of becoming a cheerleader?
I strongly believe cheerleading benefits us in so many ways – To be a team player, to be positive, to have discipline, dedication and leadership. Most importantly, the strong bond and memories that the cheerleaders form with their team mates is something they will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives.
What is the long term vision for the company?
We have so many company goals and milestones we want to achieve! Bringing Malaysian cheerleading to world class standards in a fun, safe and effective manner! Lifting the profile of cheerleading in Malaysia as a positive sport that touches lives! Spreading the love for this sport throughout Malaysia and the rest of Asia! Making coaching a respectable and rewarding career option, so coaches can wake up and do what they love every single day of their lives!
Hope you enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for more episodes of Behind the Scenes with AOne Stars!