In the 46 seasons of the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) Cheerleading Competition, only one team has been able to secure the championship for three straight seasons. The St. Paul College Pasig Pep Varsity has risen as one of the best all-girl teams in the country.
With all eyes on this team today as it guns for its fourth WNCAA title, Inquirer To be You spoke with team captain Kaila Magat to find out what keeps her and the girls going strong.
How does it feel to be three-peat WNCAA champions? Do you feel the pressure now that you’re going for a fourth straight win?
It feels overwhelming and it is such a blessing knowing all our hard work and sacrifices have paid off. Every year we feel the challenge and pressure more and more since we are the defending champions.
What are the challenges you and your team face regularly—and what have you learned from these experiences?
Cheerleading is a dangerous sport and people often get injured during training. When they get injured, they can’t train well or at all, which leads to a delay in our training since this is a team sport. We have to wait for injured members to get better and be at their 100 percent again. However, this can be avoided with focus, teamwork and caring for each other.
What values do you share as a team? What drives your team to become the best you can be?
We have several values that have helped the team get to where it is now. These values include being hardworking, committed, passionate, determined and humble. Most importantly, we always lift our victories and failures to God. We offer everything we do, especially all our sacrifices, to Him. Our passion, sacrifices and love for the sport and our team make us do better. We are our real competitors. We aim to be better than what we were last year and we all have the same goal and mind-set in training.
Can you describe your training schedule? How long do you prepare for a competition?
Training starts in summer but this isn’t the complete team yet. When school starts, we train six times a week—3-4 hours on school days and 4-8 hours on Saturdays. Sundays are meant for rest; however, if competitions are close we also train on Sundays, if necessary.
Being one of the top all-girls high school teams in the nation, how do you serve as an inspiration?
I want my team to inspire everyone or anyone to never give up on her dreams and goals in life, no matter how hard the dream or goal. I hope they realize that there will always be sacrifices to make to achieve your goals. Also, it takes time and effort to be the best or to get better—and never stop getting better. I hope that they keep pushing their limits even if they are already at their peak because there will always be room for improvement. Lastly, I hope they offer their success and failures to the Lord like we do because He is the main reason we are where we are right now.
Catch SPCP Pep Varsity on the WNCAA mats on Feb. 25, 12 noon, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Tickets are available at SM Tickets and MOA Arena.