In this exciting new series, we’re speaking to some of Visit Singapore’s expert Passion Ambassadors, to find out what they do, why they love it so much, and to get their insider tips on life in the Lion City. For our second installment, we spoke to the queen of speed, Kyra Poh: a world-champion indoor skydiver and Visit Singapore’s Action Seeker Ambassador. Kyra rides winds as fast as 230 kilometres per hour at least five times a week, and holds the record for most number of backward somersaults done in a wind tunnel (the number’s 68). Here’s what she had to say…
Tell us about your role as a Passion Ambassador for Visit Singapore…
I believe it’s my role to show off the adrenaline-packed side of Singapore. I represent the action-seekers who love adventures and thrills, and I want to showcase Singapore’s more active side to everyone.
What inspired you to become an indoor skydiver at such a young age?
I’ve always had a passion for sports, but I was also fascinated with the idea of flight and floating. When I was small, I aspired to be an astronaut. However, when I discovered skydiving, not only did it allow me to fly, but it also allowed me to experiment and do whatever I wanted while levitating. It combines activity and creativity, so it was a sport I immediately fell in love with – and continue to do so today.
How did you train to become a champion?
I think that what makes a champion is how much work and determination you put in, but also the willingness to sacrifice. It’s hard to put in a lot of amounts of hard work and push yourself, but it’s even harder to give up fun times, too. Sometimes I have to miss out on spending time with my friends in order to train. I think that once you put in the hard work and try to be a good sports person, you are already a champion.
Any champion also requires a strong team behind them. Without the people at iFly and my family, it wouldn’t be possible. The support and encouragement I have had makes hardship much easier to deal with. Finally, I think that what makes a champion is difference – you can’t excel without being unique. I feel that one of my strong points is my creativity: I always think of new tricks, so people can always expect to see something new.
What makes Singapore such a great destination for sports lovers?
There’s such a wide variety of things to do all around Singapore, for all ages and different intensities – especially since we have tropical weather all-year round. Whether it’s high-intensity extreme sports such as flying or wakeboarding, or even more relaxed thrills like the luge or ziplining, there really is something for everyone, and this can be used to further discover Singapore. There are many activities in Sentosa – which, to me, is one of the main adventure areas – but there are also more relaxing ones that reveal lesser-known places on the outskirts, such as canoeing to Pulau Ubin or cycling around Singapore.
What tips do you have for young people who want to excel at sport?
Accept that it’s not always going to be fun, but if you have the passion for it, you should always have that small sense of happiness and achievement that fuels you to continue to push yourself and work harder.
Can you tell us about a few of your favourite places to eat and drink in Singapore?
Because I am an athlete, I try to maintain a healthy diet. I’m obsessed with açai berries – I love to make açai fruit smoothie bowls, topped with lots of different fruits and nuts. It’s my to-go-to snack, and my favourite place to eat it is called An Açai Affair.
However, if I’m craving local food, I love to go to Lagoon Food Centre at East Coast, where there’s a wide variety of all the things that I love to eat, such as satays and grilled chicken wings. It’s by the beach, so it’s a really relaxing place to eat and enjoy a nice, cold, fresh coconut. I think Singapore has a wide variety of food; whatever you’re craving, we have it.
You’re the queen of speed. Where do you go to get an adrenaline rush in Singapore?
Flying for sure, but I also recently started wakeboarding, which I’m enjoying so much. I also love taking my friends to AJ Hackett and bungee jumping. Other than that, because I’m a bit of an adrenaline-junkie, I really enjoy trying new things; if anything new pops up in Singapore, I’ll be sure to try it!
And where do you go to slow down?
I actually really like skate scooting on e-scooters. As a family, we would often ride to Marina Bay to enjoy a nice view of the city at night or travel to Marina Barrage or to my favourite hawker centre at the beach. I think it’s very relaxing: I get to spend time with the people I love and unwind while still discovering Singapore. The city is really beautiful when I’m not in a rush to get anywhere, and the e-scooters allow me to enjoy the scenery and the breeze.
Do you have any local tips for visitors to Singapore?
Try all sorts of things, not just the adventure parks or typical areas. Singapore has a lot to offer and we have all kinds of stuff to try. So I would say, plan a lot of things in one day to really maximise your time. In Sentosa, I love getting the FUN pack, where you can get tokens and try almost all the attractions there. Even as a local, I do this with my friends all the time.
What should we take home with us from Singapore?
If it has to be a physical item, I would say bring back a memory. Whether it’s a video of you flying or a video of you bungee jumping, I’d say something that captured the thrilling adventures you had. Or maybe just some of our really good food and snacks. We usually pack pineapple tarts from Ade’s Homebake for friends who come to visit. But if it’s a non-physical item, I think you should leave knowing that Singapore is the best country in the world, with everything you could possibly want on a small island. I always have visiting friends who can’t believe how much there is to do here, and how varied everything is.
Tell us something we don’t know about Singapore...
I think many people see the more popular attractions of Singapore, which is awesome. However, if we take a look at activities such as kayaking (try Kayakasia), we can discover the older side of Singapore and its peaceful mangrove forests and nature. You’ll realise that Singapore isn’t just a man-made city; we have it all here, both the new and preserved.