Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of having Zhao Ming, from Federation of Cheerleading (Singapore), Yuki Iwai and Brandan Chen to conduct the International Federation of Cheerleading (IFC) Class 1 Cheerleading Safety Coaching Qualification Course at our cheerleading studio for 9 aspiring cheerleading coaches from our team.
Apart from teaching the basic elements of cheerleading, safety of cheerleading activities are heavily emphasized in this course and how cheerleading coaches can minimize the risk of injuries and breach of safety through checks and supervision. It also teaches the proper progression chart for partner stunts, tumbling and jumps and some of the drills that can be taught to build up to the final stunt that we want to achieve.
Other than theory and sharing sessions, the course also includes practical segments where participants will be taught how to properly catch a falling top person. We were surprised to know that even for spotting and catching a falling top person, there is a proper progression to it to ensure safety while learning.
For example, when learning the bear hug catching, we started with learning the proper posture by hugging the top person on the ground level and lifting them up. Once we are cleared of having the correct catching posture, we then moved on to having the top person do a mini hop from the ground level and catching the top person while he or she is in the air. Once deemed proficient, we proceed onto having the top person stand on an elevated platform and stepping off to allow his or her partner to catch him or her using the bear hug catching method. Eventually, participants learnt to catch the top person falling from shoulder stand level using the proper technique to ensure safety.
On day 2 of the course, our 9 members were tested on their knowledge from the Class 1 Coaches Handbook as well as on their practical safety skills such as executing bear hug catching and cradle catching. After 2 days on intense effort, we are excited to announce that all 9 members are now qualified IFC Class 1 coaches!
Overall, we felt that this was a very informative and useful coaching course, especially for coaches of teams that just started out or have new members constantly, like NTU and NUS hall team coaches, as it provides the proper progression charts and innovative stunts that we do not see in Singapore but are useful building blocks for member’s skills advancement as well as skills confidence. Safety is the main priority for coaches and members so always start building from ground zero to minimize the risk of injury.
Thank you for reading and stay safe for all cheerleading activities everyone! Cheers!