FAYETTE, IA (November 12, 2008)-The loyalty of Upper Iowa University Malaysian students to their American campus is evident by their latest undertaking-the formation of an official cheerleading squad.
Just a few short months ago, much to the students' delight, a Pete-the-Peacock mascot suit was delivered to the Malaysian center. Pete was immediately scheduled to appear at numerous events but now, instead of flying solo, he will be accompanied by a 16-member cheer squad in peacock blue uniforms that display the UIU insignia.
The squad is coached by Marcus Lim Wai Ket, who represents Malaysia in competitive cheerleading. In 2007 and 2008, he participated in the IFC International Cheerleading Competition in Japan and is also a student at UIU-Malaysia.
The members are a collection of special talent, including ballerinas, gymnasts, dancers, and several members of the Charm All Stars Malaysia National Cheerleading Team. They perform dance and cheers that include splits, jumps, kicks, and stunts to cheers they have composed.
"We are extremely proud of our Peacocks, as they managed to successfully turn an idea into reality within such a short time through sheer devotion, hard work, and tremendous support from all members of the Fayette House," said Dr. Steven Baptist, head of the American Degree Program in Malaysia. "Such healthy endeavors augurs well for the enrichment and growth of our students and, in turn, allows them to experience a very American-type activity though thousands of miles away.
He added, "This squad allows the barriers between our cultures to be even further diminished, bringing a better understanding amongst peoples of this world. This is a crucial role that education plays for our future generation."
The cheerleaders practiced hard for their first performance in front of 400 spectators at the recent UIU-Malaysia Global Music Festival, organized by the Intercultural Communications class. Proceeds for the event went to the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA).
However, just like American cheerleaders, the Malaysian squad has been fundraising to pay for their uniforms through food, drink, and T-shirt sales. They are also looking into local corporate sponsorship. A Fayette campus fundraiser for this group is also currently underway.
Anyone interested in contributing to the UIU-Malaysian cheer squad can contact Frazier at 563-425-5864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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