Taking Yo-yoing to the next level
AS MANY AS 45 talented and enthusiastic yo-yo competitors from Selangor, Terengganu, Penang, Sarawak, Sabah, Indonesia and Singapore were competing in the two-day Sarawak Regional Yoyo Open competition , one of the main events under ‘You Are The 1 – Youth Carnival Events 2014’ organised by 1BPP Sports and Recreation Club from May 31 – June 1 at Plaza Merdeka.
Not only were the participants pumped about the event, but the spectators were also equally blown away by the participants’ skills and techniques.
Based on the highest points among all divisions, Adi Hisham Mokhtar (Sarawak) won the title Champion of Champions. The other winners based on their divisions are as follows:
Single A1 Division: Muhd Saifuddin (Terengganu)
2A Division (Looping): Asnu Minzian (Sarawak)
3A Division (Double-handed Yo-yo): Adi Hisham Mokhtar (Sarawak)
4A Offstring Division: Eewin Ee (Kuala Lumpur)
5A Counter Weight Division: Eewin Ee (Kuala Lumpur)
Long Sleeper Record: Jeremy Quah (Penang)
The Borneo Post SEEDS managed to catch up with some of the talented yo-yo competitors on the first day of the competition.
Like any kid growing up, Marcus Koh was always fascinated with cartoons but one that particularly caught his eye was ‘Super Yoyo’, a Japanese cartoon depicting a young boy who is a yo-yo enthusiast.
“I was amazed by how hardworking the main character was, his ‘never give up attitude’ and how much he wanted to be a yo-yo World Champion despite failing so many times. And it was because of him I was inspired to become a World Champion,” said the yo-yo master who has been yo-yoing for 11 years now.
Hailing from Singapore, 21-year-old Marcus who won the world championship in A1 back in 2011 was present during the Sarawak Regional Yoyo Competition not as a competitor but as a judge.
His criteria for a yoyo winner was the yoyo player’s showmanship and their ability to interact with the audience as this would increase the entertainment value.
When he’s competing, Marcus prepares for it two to three months in advance. Since yoyo is a performance art, he works on choreographing his yoyo tricks with the music he specifically selected for his segment as music selection also plays a vital role in a performance.
In the future, Marcus hopes to spread his yoyo knowledge with others because for him yoyo is not merely a child’s play but a fascinating mixture of technical complexity and flexibility.
As team leader for Tr-yo, a yo-yo team from Terengganu, Low Jia Cheng hopes to bring his teammates to higher-level competitions.
“Yo-yo is not just a toy, and I hope one day I could built a community centering on yo-yo where people would come together,” said Low.
When asked how he first got involved in the yoyo frenzy, he remembered attending tuition and saw yo-yos being sold at a 7-Eleven store. He bought it out of curiosity and started playing with it until it developed into his passion.
His father was not enthusiastic about his choice at all and his friends were also quite puzzled about his choice of hobby and why he wanted to pursue his interest in it, but due to his passion and determination, he continued.
As a keen yo-yo player, Low advised those who would like to pursue their interest in yoyo to never give up and keep on practicing as playing the yoyo is not an easy thing to start but it is a great way to bond with people and a healthy activity to build a community with.
Before he discovered the yoyo, first-time competitor Paul Peter from Sabah had a lot of hobbies and interests, but he always stopped them halfway as he never found them fulfilling enough.
His interest in yo-yoing started when he was 17 years old when he accidentally stumbled upon a video on YouTube called ‘Yo-yo God’ and was fascinated by the yoyo player’s techniques and fast movements.
Curious, he bought himself a yo-yo and started playing with it. Little did he know he was about to get serious with yo-yoing until he established a team called Revyo.
For this competition, Paul practiced at least a month to perfect his techniques.
“In the future, I wish to create a Sabah Regional Yoyo Competition which is why I joined this competition,” he said, explaining that it would give him the experience and exposure.
Our very own local yo-yo player from the Yo-Blitz team, Ridzwan Ngataman admitted that he first got involved with yo-yo through Facebook when he became acquainted with Ryan Han, the team leader of Yo-Blitz in 2010.
Since becoming a member of the Yo-Blitz team, Ridzwan has participated in a lot of competitions, coming out first place during the Championship A1 division Sarawak Regional Yo-yo Competition last year.
Ridzwan practiced about 6 weeks for the Sarawak Regional Yoyo Competition. According to him, initially during the early preparation stage, he would practice for a couple of hours but as the date of the competition drew nearer, he pushed himself to practice up to four hours a day.
“Yo-yo is not an easy thing to learn but it can be easy to practice if you have the interest,” he said and hopes to gain more members in Yo-Blitz in the future.
Penangite Yeoh Zi Qi has been playing yoyo since he was 8 years old after seeing a yo-yo performance at his school.
Prior to this competition, Yeoh practiced one to two hours every day months before the big day. Representing the Tr-yo Penang team, Yeoh hopes to join more yo-yo competitions once he completes his SPM exams this year.
“I’m trying to bring yo-yo to the next level, from the beginning of 2010 till today it has always been the same thing, bringing up new yo-yo player and promoting the sport and at the same time I’m trying hard to get yo-yo to be recognised as a sport, giving Sarawak something different.” said Ryan, who was also chairman of the two-day event.
According to Ryan, a good yo-yo player is not only determined by their skills, but their showmanship and attitude. He also highlighted that when on stage, a good yo-yo player will know how to show the audience the beauty of yo-yoing, self-expression and be humble when showing off their skills.
In the near future, Ryan hopes to take yo-yoing to the next level by having yo-yo road shows. He also hopes to see it included as part of the school curriculum and also be included as a sport in Sukma.