How many times can you kick a chapteh into the air? 10, maybe 20 times? Mr Lim Kwang Yan’s personal record is more than 200, when he was 78 years old. That was six years ago.
“I practised non-stop just to set my own record,” he said. “(But) once I stopped practicing, I’m not so good at it anymore.”
But he is just being modest. Today, even at age 84, he can still kick the chapteh with his heel when it drops behind him, calling it a ‘higher level move’.
Flexibility in sports is not new to him. It took five years of training and many stretching exercises, but he finally managed to perform a full split. A difficult task, even for teenagers.
This active senior still meets regularly with friends to play chapteh together, as part of the Bukit Batok Chapteh Club. They play a variant of the game in teams of two with a small net, similar to badminton.
He is the oldest person in the group, but is as good – if not better – than his younger friends at the game. He enjoys giving them pointers to improve their game, and they show their gratitude by treating him to breakfast.
“Playing chapteh helps me to forget my troubles,” he said. “And I get to meet a nice group of friends.”
Watch the full video here.