Photo credit: DARREN YAP


Hi! I’m Darren Yap and I turn 18 this year! I have been part of the national taekwondo team for the last three years. I started learning taekwondo in 2008 and, in just three years, took part in my first competition. I progressed to competing on the international stage in 2017. In 2021, I was the Sports Boy of The Year in the Singapore Sports School Council.



Prior to my first call-up to the national team, I faced numerous rejections despite working hard in training and selection trials. When I finally got the message to join the team, I was super excited and instantly told my parents about it. I was finally able to prove my worth and show people that this is what I’ve been working for.



My passion for taekwondo subsequently grew over the years. Being able to compete and perform in front of a crowd is something I’ll always be grateful for. Competing at a high level is not easy, but rewarding. Being able to represent your country is never something to take lightly and I am very grateful to be able to proudly wear the Singapore flag on my sleeve.

Not many athletes in Singapore participate in the Freestyle Poomsae event, which is what I specialise in. This event requires acrobatics and creativity. I hope that by competing and doing well in competitions, I can inspire younger players to join and give it a try. I wish to be able to help expand the sport in Singapore and show people that taekwondo is not only about sparring and pattern but also about being able to express yourself through a routine.

This article was published on Apr 18, 2022

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