Jaymee Tan Yee Ming, 30Founder and CEO of Cheer Aspirations, former Team Malaysia cheerleading coach
I started off as a cheerleader back in high school. While I was a shy, quiet student, somehow I fell in love with the sport! I kept on cheering after graduation and went on to become one
of Malaysia’s first internationally certified cheerleading coaches and judges in - all while completing my degree and masters in engineering.
There was no such thing as a cheerleading company back then, or even anyone coaching cheerleading as a job. We had no clue how to turn it into a career, but we did know that we were crazy for cheerleading, and it was what we wanted to wake up and do every day. That’s why I founded Cheer Aspirations, and why I became head coach of Malaysia’s six-time national champions. I have been an International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championships (ICU WCC) judge for the past five years; my job lets me travel the world to judge cheerleading competitions in ASEAN, Australia and the USA. It’s an eye-opening experience to see how cheerleading is in other countries and to have the opportunity to meet inspirational personalities and share their knowledge and passion for cheerleading.
I am also the Vice President of the Cheerleading Association & Register of Malaysia (CHARM), the national governing body for cheerleading in Malaysia. Part of my responsibilities include the accreditation and development of coaches and judges. The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing cheerleaders and coaches become better individuals because of cheerleading and the many things it teaches: confidence, teamwork, discipline, perseverance, leadership. A cheerleader once told me cheering changed her for the better, and that she would treasure the experience for the rest of her life. It’s amazing to see their transformation and their fulfilment, and I am very thankful to be a part of it all.
All my loved ones are always by my side supporting me in pursuing my passion. It’s not always a bed of roses and work does get stressful, hectic and just plain crazy at times. I make it a point to be as solution-oriented as possible, and to come up with ideas and systems to solve the challenges. My mantra is “it’s not a mistake if you learn from it, it’s a lesson”. It helps me to not dwell on the past and instead focus on how to improve and become wiser in the future. It’s much better to take your obstacles as an opportunity to challenge yourself and grow.
You have to believe in yourself--that you can be anything you want to be, and achieve anything you desire. There are too many women out there who doubt themselves. Even I catch myself doubting myself once in a while. Women are stronger and more capable than we give ourselves credit for. We need to believe in our abilities and strengths and to focus on living the life we want to live.