Exclusive: Juggling between passion and education was not easy, says Singapore indoor skydiver Kyra Poh

Kyra hopes to receive an official support from the sports authority of Singapore "to recognize indoor skydiving as an official sport."

Singapore's indoor skydiver Kyra Poh
Singapore's indoor skydiver Kyra Poh Kyra Poh

Indoor skydiving is a game, which is not very famous like football or cricket but there is a teenager, who wanted to fly high, make it a professional sport and become a promising sports personality in Singapore. Her name is Kyra Poh and she recently won a gold medal in the junior freestyle category at 2017 Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) World Indoor Skydiving Championship in Laval, Canada.

Kyra is a rising star now in the field of indoor skydiving as she became the defending champion in the junior freestyle category. In an exclusive interview to IBTimes Singapore, she spoke about her career objectives and threw some insights into her flying journey till now.

Since her childhood, Kyra was always looking for an opportunity to fly and thought that she could live her dreams only if she becomes an astronaut. But when Kyra stepped into the indoor skydiving world her life changed and she felt she truly belongs to this unique sport.

Her journey to become a world-class sportsperson was not smooth enough as she had to find a balance between her studies and her passion. Most of the time she had to pay attention in school, attend her exams and, at the same time, she had to prepare for a competition. According to Kyra she still feels that this kind of situations is "difficult to juggle."

"I really can't wait to finish my education to give all my focus to flying," said the 15-year-old Kyra.

But the truth is, most of the time, difficult roads lead people towards a beautiful destination and that is what exactly happened with this girl from the Lion City.

When asked about her future plans, Kyra revealed that she wishes to study in Europe as it is the epicenter of most of the sports. She said: "It wouldn't involve me skipping so much school for traveling and competitions."

The young skydiver said that in spite of her bumpy journey, she is glad to be a part of the skydiving world. She also mentioned that she feels great when people from all around the world get to know about this not so famous sport through her achievements.

According to Kyra, since people have a limited knowledge about the indoor skydiving they usually assume that she can do all the tricks and moves effortlessly because she is a girl, including judges. But the truth is way very different from what they think.

"I was really inflexible, and have to spend 30 minutes per day stretching for the last two years to get me where I am today," she said.

"I had to learn most things on my own, I ended up with stretching or exercising in a way that actually gave me injuries," Kyra also added.

Kyra Poh and Choo Yi Xuan with Kyra's mother Carolyn Poh
Kyra Poh and Choo Yi Xuan with Kyra's mother Carolyn Poh Kyra Poh

Kyra told about her all-time mentor Carolyn, who is also her mother and manages all her schedules. Although Carolyn is not from the skydiving background, she gradually gained the knowledge about the sport and since then she performs as a coach of Kyra.

Kyra considers her triumph at FAI World championship in October 2017, as a tribute to her late grandfather who was one of her biggest supporters.

"I really hoped I made him proud wherever he is. I promised him before he passed away that I will always fly for him," she said.

Kyra will be featured in upcoming Flight Fighters in Bahrain on 2 December 2017, followed by The Wind Games in Spain on 1 February 2018 and Sakura Cup in Tokyo on 31 March.

The champion of FAI world championship and world cup will be participating in next year's Solo Freestyle Open Category.

"Even though the Junior Category allows under-17, and I'll be 16 next year, I would like to challenge myself and it would be interesting to take part in the open category with the adults and I'm excited," she mentioned.

Kyra thinks that since indoor skydiving is a unique game, played by few people, countries send their most dedicated divers in the world championship and this intensifies the competition. Thus participating in this genre becomes extremely challenging.

"The sport is also evolving, so there are so many more new faces that bring in new styles and tricks, so it's really hard to say who our toughest competitor is," she further added.


In this journey, Kyra met with her compatriot Choo Yi Xuan, who became her two-way partner almost seven years ago. Both of them have performed in the dynamic two-way artistic category at FAI world championship this year.

Yi-Xuan started her career as a swimmer before, but she quit it to become an indoor skydiver like Kyra. Now both of the youngsters represent Team Firefly and also known as the Youth Ambassadors of iFLY Singapore.

In 2016 FIA world championship, Kyra and her two-way partner both finished in the fourth position and became extremely disappointed but in 2017 they showed their determination and as a result, they achieved the silver medal.

"We were the only team under 17 (there was no junior category) and the only full female team, so you can imagine how amazing it is to be 2nd in the World," Kyra mentioned.

"Since our flying styles are very different from other teams, it's truly an honour to fly with Yi-Xuan and show what girls can achieve in this very male-dominated sport," she further added.

The promising teen says that she would like to inspire other kids from all around the world to choose indoor skydiving as their sporting career. Kyra hopes to receive an official support from the sports authority of Singapore "to recognize indoor skydiving as an official sport."