Tag Archives: sport

Indoor Climbing in Sabah

Indoor rock climbing

Why is bungee jump thrilling? Because our bodies alarm us that our life is in danger (but you know you are safe). This fight-or-flight response triggers the flood of adrenaline, endorphin, and dopamine, which excite us and awaken the warrior inside us.

climbing in SICC

Climbing can take you to places no others can reach

I want to look like one of those awesome rock climbing dudes who always appear in motivational posters, so I tried my first indoor climbing at Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC), the best indoor climbing gym in Sabah since 1 Sep 2010.

Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC)

Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC). This place becomes busy every late afternoon.

indoor climbing gym

Climbing is a sport for everyone

At first I hesitated, the tall and vertical climbing walls look like unconquerable cliffs. Nearly overpowered by fear, I started to imagine that I was failing and falling.

climber team

The gang who tries climbing the first time

No, I don’t want to give up without trying. It’s perfectly safe anyway. Because of fear, I had given up so many things in life. I don’t want to be a loser who hides in comfort zone, at least for today.

descending from rock wall

Descending from wall climbing

“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

The staffs at SICC are very friendly. They assure me that rock climbing is a fun and safe activity. Well, I think my skill in climbing mango trees during childhood would help lol.

Briefing before the climb

Briefing before the climb

The preparation is fast and simple, I don’t really need to do much. They helped me strapped to harness and rope, something to prevent me from falling to the ground, in case I lose my balance or grip. After a short briefing and my belayer in place, I’m good to go.

No turning back

“Brave people also fear, but they go ahead anyway.”

My heart pumped rapidly. I walked to the giant wall and looked up. I knew once I made my first move, the only way was up and there was no turning back.

Guidance by SICC Instructor

Guidance by SICC Instructor

Anyway, my first wall is the easiest one, and I have little difficulty to complete the climb. They advised me to use more of my legs than my hands, and don’t try not to be a cliff hanger.

17 walls in SICC

SICC has 17 walls that offer different challenges (fun) and design

Climbers on belay

Climbers on belay are safe from falling

“The brain is the most important muscle in climbing.” – Wolfgang Güllich

Strength alone doesn’t determine your success. Besides right techniques, climbers need to plan their route. The rock holds are in different shapes and sizes. My favorite ones are those big ones that are easy to grip. Inevitably I have to use the small ones when they are the only option.

climbers on belay

Climbers need to plan the route to move up

When climbing the second wall, I used too much upper body strength and my hands began to shake. At some points I was kind of stuck and didn’t know where to go. Luckily the belayer guided me where to land my next step.


I feel adrenaline flows through my body while trying to keep up with the increasing challenge. Hesitation is bad, so I have to keep climbing up.

man trying wall climbing

Climbing is a great physical exercise

I fought my way up with the gravity. When I was tired, I could request the belayer to hold me in hanging position for a short break. FYI, the rope is to prevent you from falling. You are not supposed to use it as a climbing aid.

Do not touch the rope

No… you are not supposed to touch the rope

The moment I tapped the top label, it was like a small victory to me. The second wall is harder due to its irregular wall surface.

girl reaching the top of rock wall

“Look! Mom. I reach the top!”

Then I got down for a rest before attempting the third wall. Though I was tired, I felt so relax. Rock climbing increases levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the body that reduces stress.

girl hanging around

Feel free to hang around

According to an article published by British Journal of Sports Medicine, the cardio and energy consumed in climbing is similar to running at a pace between 5 and 7 minutes per Kilometre (That’s fast!).

girl in climbing

Climbing can be a sport or hobby

Climbing wall for children

Climbing wall for children

When I sat and looked around, I noticed many pretty climbers. I wonder if it’s climbing that makes them look beautiful. To me, Lara Croft with fit physique definitely looks far more attractive than weak Snow White with fair skin.

girl almost reaches the top

Almost there…

busy climbers in SICC

“From a mental standpoint, climbing is an amazing teacher, instilling focus, balance, determination and a whole … host of valuable life skills.” – Cedar Wright

A one-hour climbing session can burn over 700 calories, and it uses lots of muscle groups in the upper and lower body. If you climb often enough, you will build very nice muscle tone. Doubt?
Just look at the instructors of SICC.


Thank you Beverly for being my belayer. Nice ass by the way

Ok, the third wall is even more challenging with mild level of overhang. Now I realize two things: 1) it’s no easy task to be a Spiderman lol, and 2) our fingers can do more amazing things than swiping the screen of smartphone. Climbing really tests our strength, endurance, agility, and balance.

hanging on rock wall

“Climbing isn’t about hanging on, it’s about letting go”

It is not a race, so I just kept calm and moved up inch by inch. Sometimes it’s nerve wracking when I had to reach far to make a bold move that could cause me losing balance. I knew I was in good hands, but I still disliked the idea of falling.

girl hanging at rock wall

Don’t look down!

My hands were shivering more and more. The staff tried to encourage me to push the envelope. Whenever I thought I was exhausted, I still managed to squeeze a bit of power from my energy reserve.

climbing with friends

It’s more fun to climb with friends

Finally, I couldn’t hang on anymore. My hands slipped and I fell. The rope stopped my fall. I tried to get back to where I fell and carried on, but my hands were like jello. White flag raised.

me trying wall climbing

It’s me trying wall climbing

Descending after the climb

Descending after the climb

Depend on how you take it, rock climbing can be a skill, sport or passion (or all three) for you. You can enjoy the exhilarating moment without doing extreme sports, speeding, drugs or other dangerous things that can break your bones. Warning: it can be addictive.

fearless female climber

If a person is fearless, he/she is unstoppable.

Next day my arms and legs were so sore that I could barely lift my toothbrush. I welcome this though. Rock Climbing is one of the best whole body workouts available. If I climb regularly, I can become as strong as a ninja.

Practice climbing techniques at small wall

Practice climbing techniques at small wall

I saw some parents went climbing with their kids too. I’m sure this sport can help the kids to learn to be independent thereby building up their confidence and self-esteem. Growth requires a bit of struggle sometimes right. FYI, SICC has “Little Monkeys Class” for kids aged 6 to 13.

kid tries indoor climbing

Children of 6 years and above can try indoor climbing

girl climbing the wall

Climbing helps children to face their fears in a safe environment.

The fee of One-day pass fee for SICC is RM22 For adults and RM20 for 17 years & below. (Climbing Shoes for Rent: RM6, or bring your own). They offer special rate to students, group and senior citizens. If you become an avid climber, you can consider all-you-can-climb buffet package that costs RM150 per month (full climbing gear included, except climbing shoes).

kid climbing in SICC

Indoor climbing is safe for kids too

SICC is located next to jogging track of Likas Sport complex, Kota Kinabalu City (Sabah, Malaysia). Its GPS Coordinates is 5.979028, 116.091671 (see Map).

Harness and climbing shoes

Harness and climbing shoes for rent

Below is more information of SICC if you want to know more:
Website: www.sicc.com.my
Facebook: climbsabah
Instagram: @sabahindoorclimbingcentre
Tel: +60 19-8837341
E-mail: info@ropeskills.com.my
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri: 4pm-9pm, Sat-Sun, Public Holidays: 12pm-9pm, Mon (closed)
(You can walk in during opening hours, no advance booking is required)

girl climber

Climbing empowers and builds self-esteem in kids of all ages

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

Mermaids coming to Sabah

Sabah Mermaid Swimming Class

We have mermaid in Sabah. It lives at Mantanani, the Mermaid Islands, where it swims gracefully in the water and grazes on the seagrass. Someone even captured its photo as shown below. Wait! That isn’t the glamorous mermaid which we saw in The Mermaid, a blockbuster movie by Stephen Chow!


Dugong, a gentle mammal living in tropical water is mistaken as Mermaid sometimes. Photo by Earth Race Conservation

Being a mermaid is fun

Being a mermaid is fun

Actually mermaid is another name for our dugong (a.k.a. Sea Cow), this is probably a mistake by drunken sailor who was desperate for woman and thought he saw a mermaid having too much fast food.

Mermaid Vietnah

Mermaid is romanticized as a symbol of beauty, sexy and love

Though mermaid meant trouble to fishermen and sailors in the legend, most people think mermaid is a mysterious and fascinating creature. In fact, mermaid might be the only half human animal that mesmerizes people, while most other half human creatures are simply terrifying.


Mermaiding is getting popular

Mermaiding was used to be solely for entertaining kids. Then some serious cosplayers believe that there is a Princess Ariel living inside everyone, so putting on a mermaid tail costume and acting like a mermaid will bring out our inner beauty and transform us into a confident, elegant, and “wild” being.

From left: Mermaid Phyllis, Mermaid Josephine and Mermaid Shureena

From left: Mermaid Phyllis, Mermaid Josephine and Mermaid Shureena

After first mermaid school was open in 2012, mermaiding is gradually becoming popular, and now it’s available in Sabah because of Angie Shureena, the first mermaid of Sabah.

Dolphin kick

If I see this mermaid in Kiryat Yam, I’ll be rich because its town tourism board offers $1 million reward to the first person who photographs a mermaid.

Growing up in water village of Kampung Air, the first thing Angie Shureena did after school was jumping into the sea with her siblings. She loves everything about mermaid and always glued to its stories, movies and photos.

Mermaid Vietnah having fun underwater

Mermaid Vietnah having fun swimming back and forth

As sea is her second home, I’m sure she would have dreamed of turning into a mermaid.

Mermaid Shureena

Mermaid Shureena, the trainer and the first mermaid of Sabah

Five months ago Angie was so excited to discover mermaid tail costumes for sale on the Internet, and this really ignited her passion to be a mermaid. However, a fancy mermaid tail can cost from hundred to thousand of dollars.

A relaxing mermaid

Mermaid Josephine thinks mermaiding can keep her figure in shape

Mermaid swimming class

You can contact Angie Shureena (left)(Tel: +60 16-3532438) for a Mermaid swimming class

Therefore, Angie decided to create the costume mermaid tail herself. Being a self-taught painter, pianist and baker, Angie is talented and a hands-on person who is good in DIY.


You can do Mermaiding as a profession, hobby or sport

She researched for ideas online and experiment with different fabric. After some trials and errors, she has successfully made 7 beautiful handmade mermaid tails in different style.

Family fun in Mermaid class

Family fun in Mermaid class

The materials of her choice is elastic and light fabric that floats. After cutting and stitching the material based on her design, Angie will paint it with waterproof colors and detailing it with shimmering scales. This requires weeks of effort, but the end product is a very realistic and high quality tail.


Mermaiding is the practice of wearing, and often swimming in, a mermaid suit.

According to the Little Mermaid fairy tale (not the version in Disney’s film), the Little Mermaid wanted to become human so badly that she gave up her beautiful voice and tail, in exchange for a pair of legs that gave her excruciating pain when she walked. Unfortunately, her beloved prince married someone else, so she died with broken heart and her body dissolved into sea foam.

Everyone can be a mermaid

Everyone can be a mermaid!

Mermaid Phyllis

Mermaid Phyllis

Therefore, the lesson is – be yourself and never change yourself just to win the love of those who don’t appreciate your uniqueness. The funny truth is everyone wants to be a mermaid. If the Little Mermaid showed her special identity, her prince charming could be impressed, and they both would have lived happily ever after.

putting on mermaid suit

The mermaid suit is handmade by Angie

Wearing the mermaid suit

Wearing the mermaid suit

Ok, I was just trying to say it’s great to be a mermaid (at least you don’t need to shave your legs). Back to the Sabah mermaid, when Angie was swimming in her mermaid outfit at Babagon River, she received very positive response from the locals hence encouraging her to introduce this sport to more people.

Mermaid in swimming pool

Mermaid in swimming pool

swimming like a mermaid

Mermaiding is also referred to as artistic mermaiding, mermaidry, or artistic mermaid performance.

Her mermaid class focuses a lot on improving the swimming skill of her students. When your legs are wrapped inside the mermaid tail, you only can use dolphin kick to propel forward, which is a good workout for your hip, waist and thigh.

Swimming pool of Penampang Sports Complex

Swimming pool of Penampang Sports Complex

The Mermaid Swimming Class is conducted in swimming pool of Penampang Sports Complex about 8 Kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu City (KK). It is not crowded, so it’ll allow mermaid to have more swimming space to practice. Both adult and kids, male and female, can join the class. Costume mermaid tail is available for lending.

Beginner training with monofin

Beginner training with monofin

Mermaid is a born swimmer. Therefore, ability to swim gracefully is your first step to mimic a mermaid. When Angie trains you to become a mermaid, you will become an expert swimmer at the same time. Anyway, swimming is now more fun and never be the same again.

breathing technique training

The class can perfect your breathing technique

Before dressing in a flamboyant mermaid costume, beginners will exercise dolphin kick with monofin first, to ensure they can handle mermaid suit later. Besides, participants will improve their underwater breathing and free-diving techniques, so they can dive longer in the water.

Making bubble rings

Making bubble rings

Dolphin kick is the fastest swimming style. Once you master dolphin kick like your second nature, you will swim as fast as a fish and fully enjoy the freedom. And this will change you. Angie said, “I start to see and feel the world like a fish. When I find pollution and trash in the sea, I’ll feel really sad.”

Mermaid Kiss

Mermaid Kiss

It’s not all about swimming. You will be taught how to do some cool tricks underwater such as blowing bubble rings and mermaid kiss.

Underwater somersault

Underwater somersault. You are really good if you can do more than 3.

If you are interested in Mermaid Swimming Class, please call Angie’s “Shell” Phone at +60 16-3532438 (Whatsapp available). She also can do mermaid show in special event such as birthday party.

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo