Main menu


Not only yoga is the cure: 44-year-old Singaporean woman opts for skating to de-stress after work, Lifestyle News

Wearing a baggy jacket over an oversized shirt, Joanne ‘Corey’ Lee looks totally at home at the skate park. Under her purple headdress, her face does not betray her age either – she is 44 years old and is a beginner skater.

“It just started last year,” Corey says.

“One of my friends, whose daughter is learning to skate, texted me randomly and asked me to try skateboarding, and I said, ‘Well, why not? “

“When I was young, there were stereotypes: that only boys skate, this wasn’t really a women’s sport. Parents didn’t like seeing their kids skateboard, and would rather ask you to go to school.”

“I got her in trouble,” says her friend Eric Ng, 47. A former teen skater, he picked her up recently when his daughter Laila showed an interest in her.

He said to Corey, “If my daughter can do that and I can go back to him, why not you?”

The three skate in Por Vida Skateboarding which is set to open the largest fully indoor skate park in Singapore today (October 1) at GR.iD Singapore. Leila, only 9, is a young star, easily showing off her quarter-pipe skills.

Por Vida Skateboarding founder Pham Tan opened the indoor facility due to a lack of space for skaters to go when it rains – which is very common in Singapore. He had to take cover and skate in places like indoor parking lots, which security saw him drive away.

When Pham first started skateboarding 23 years ago, he admitted it was seen as a “naughty sport or a delinquent sport,” an idea he likes to dispel. He says, “Over the past years, it has been included in the Olympiad, and now international and local schools have become a co-curricular activity.”


Receiving feedback from parents and fellow coaches, he invested a “five-figure sum” to decorate the 6,708-square-foot area with an impressive array of obstacles, including a mini ramp, wave ramp, flat bar, and rails, also like quarter tubes.

Although skateboarding is considered an extreme sport (it was part of the X Games before it was finally included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics), for Corey, the sport is therapeutic.

“It is not only yoga that is therapeutic,” she told AsiaOne. She works in sales by day, and she skis to de-stress after a hard day’s work: “It helps with my mental clarity as well as my body; it’s a sport so you can sweat it.”

Of course, Corey is also for the excitement of the sport.


“There’s also the adrenaline when you’re going down a slope: it’s scary but I love that feeling,” she says. “Every time there is an obstacle and I overcome it, there is a feeling of satisfaction that is completely indescribable.”

Cory isn’t the only older learner at the skate park. Pham, 37, who has been a coach for a decade, tells us that his youngest student is five years old and his oldest student was 61.

“Skateboarding knows no bounds,” adds Pham. “You can do it anytime you want, and you don’t need a partner – it’s just you and your skateboard. You can do it anywhere you want, whether it’s a multi-storey car park, under an empty deck or a park.”

He says, “There is no age limit on when you can start. Whenever you come across and are fascinated by it, you can try it.”

Corey agrees: “Age is just a number. Skating brings the kind of satisfaction you probably won’t get in your entire life or career.”