S'pore girls fly high

Her mother's company was promoting iFly Singapore, the world's largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel, when it was first launched four years ago.

Kyra Poh was in primary school and her mother needed someone to try it out.

The girl roped in her friend Choo Yi Xuan.

Said Yi Xuan: "I had this phobia of heights, but skydiving helped me overcome it."

The two girls got so good at it, they represented Singapore in an international competition recently. They beat more experienced competitors as a team to clinch third place.

Kyra, 12, and Yi Xuan, 13, competed at the Body Flight World Challenge 2015 in Bedford, UK, on April 3 and 4.

Going by Team Firefly, they were the youngest all-girl team in the competition. But against the odds, Team Firefly finished third in three categories.

iFly Singapore is on Sentosa and its wind tunnel is almost five storeys high, with an average wind speed for first-timers of about 144kmh.

The girls have been going there for training since 2011.

Formerly from Haig Girls' School, they have been friends since they swam together at a club six years ago.


Kyra's mother, Mrs Carolyn Poh, 42, is the co-founder of Kinetic Singapore, a design company.

Her company was handling design and advertisements for iFly Singapore in May 2011 for its launch. She needed people to try out the wind tunnel and asked Kyra and Yi Xuan.

iFly Singapore's managing director and founder, Mr Lawrence Koh, 38, recognised the girls' potential and asked them to perform on opening day.

He said: "When we coached them then, they picked things up really fast."

Said Mrs Poh: "It's seldom that kids this age have something they are passionate about. As long it's something she wants, we would support her."

This is the third year the girls are taking part in the competition.

The two started training again after Kyra finished her PSLE last year. Yi Xuan is in the Singapore Sports School and Kyra is at the School of the Arts.

Said Kyra: "Both our schools are really supportive. Sometimes, they give us more time to do homework.

"Some of my teachers stayed back and taught me so I could catch up with my work."

Mrs Poh said: "Whenever I sent her to swimming class, she would complain a lot. But here at iFly, I never have to ask her to prepare her stuff."

When asked about their win and their hopes for the future, Kyra said: "We really hope to improve because we're competing against world-class people twice or thrice our age, and they have some really good stuff."

This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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