As the current defending and repeat winner of the UAAP Cheerdance competition, the National University (NU) Pep Squad does the entire country proud as it bagged second runner-up in the World Cheerleading Championships, their first appearance in the tourney. They ranked third after top winners Mexico and Chile.
The World Cheerleading Championships is hosted by the International Cheer Union (ICU) which is the international governing body for cheerleading with a member of 104 countries. The yearly event is considered the “Olympics” of the cheerleading world and wherein member countries send delegates to Disney World in Orlando, Florida to compete in eight categories including doubles, co-ed and mixed groups. This year, 70 countries vied for various prizes and the chance to be the cheerleading champions of the world. Team Philippines went against perennial favorites U.S, Canada, Japan, and Thailand. “This is the Mecca for cheerleading,” said coach Gabriel Bajacan of the NU team.
After first joining the prestigious international tourney in 2014, the Philippines sent three teams this year which includes participants to the All-Girl Cheer Division, Hiphop Cheer Division and Coed Elite Division, the latest of which was represented by the NU Pep Squad. The division is one of the toughest categories with more than 20 countries participating. NU also showed their Pinoy pride during their routine by incorporating banners with words like, “Laban,” “Pilipinas,” and “mabuhay” to cap off their presentation.
The Philippines came home with three medals, one for silver in the All Girls Elite Division and two bronze wins from the Cheer Hiphop and NU Pep Squad's impressive Coed Elite win.