U.S. high performance sports apparel label Under Armour concluded its first-ever regional search for the most tenacious of athletes with the Under Armour Test of Will Regional Grand Final , at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore over the weekend. A morning of intense competition amongst 16 participants from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines saw Jet Ng from Singapore and Zoe Pond-McPherson from the Philippines emerging victorious and earning the prized title of Under Armour Southeast Asia (SEA) Brand Athlete. Over 1400 contestants fought for the opportunity to represent their country at Under Armour’s first-ever regional fitness challenge in the national heats, where two best men and women respectively, were selected from each country to compete in the Under Armour Test of Will Regional Grand Final held here last weekend.
“The Under Armour Test of Will 2016 is an elite fitness event that challenges everyone with the will to train and a drive for competition, and fully resonates with Under Armour’s ‘I Will’ mantra,” says Mr. Michael Binger, CEO of Triple Pte Ltd , exclusive distributor of Under Armour in Southeast Asia. “We feel very rewarded witnessing the Under Armour fitness community grow even bigger with people from all kinds of professions, age and nationalities, striving to achieve more in their personal fitness journeys,” he added.
Not knowing the challenges that they were up against prior to the grand final event, the 16 finalists arrived at the venue and were faced with a 14m-tall custom-built obstacle tower. They were required to perform a series of exercises that put their agility, strength, endurance and ultimately their will power to the test. The finalists were required to complete the challenges assigned in a 5-minute time frame in the first two sessions, and eight finalists who achieved the highest scores were chosen to advance to compete in session three.
In the first session, they were required to perform Jump Squats, Ab Wheel Rollouts and ride on the Assault Air Bike Sprint, while the second session saw the finalists performing a series of Burpees and Single Arm Dumbbell Thrusters, before scores were tallied to determine the top eight who would advance to session three. They then moved on to a multi-aerial rig where they had to rapidly move from ring to ring before performing pull-ups, while being suspended seven metres above ground. Each contestant was given a three minute time frame to accomplish the highest count. Two of the top scoring men and women went on to compete in the final round of the competition.
The final session proved to be the most challenging session for the entire competition, where they had to complete the Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk, Tire Carry Challenge, and the Assault Air Bike Sprint, before going on a grueling climb up a 14m-long manila rope without knots.
“I chanced upon the Under Armour Test of Will national heats at Bugis Junction, and I have never imagined that I would represent Singapore in the grand final event. I’m not a professional athlete, but as a Physical Education teacher, I enjoy helping kids I teach to realise their full potential, keeping a balance with mind and body,” Jet Ng , 31, says on his win and his overall experience of the competition. “This competition shows that anyone can achieve greatness, as long as we have the tenacity to train hard, and the will power to push beyond the limits we set for ourselves. What the mind can conceive and the heart can believe, the body can achieve,” he added.
“The challenge was fun and the workouts were difficult and tested endurance, strength, and pacing, covering a broad range of fitness. The event was efficient and ran on time, which is a huge stress relief as an athlete. The crowd was really into it and all the athletes were friendly. It was a great opportunity to meet people within the greater SEA fitness community,” says Zoe Pond-McPherson , 26, who currently runs a Crossfit Gymnastics Programme in the Philippines. “I'm thrilled to have won. It was a very tough competition against these amazing women who trained hard to compete in the grand final event, and I had to fight for every workout. I'm proud of the fact that many women said they were inspired. I hope to continue inspiring people to work towards their fitness goals,” she enthused.
Also at the Under Armour Test of Will Regional Grand Final event were Under Armour Southeast Asia Brand Ambassadors from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Brunei, lending their support to the participants. The brand ambassadors took on the challenge of demonstrating the exercises the participants were required to compete in before commencement of each session.
Both Jet Ng and Zoe Pond-McPherson receive the title of Under Armour Southeast Asia (SEA) Brand Athlete for 12 months. Additionally, they will be featured in leading health and fitness magazines Men’s Health Singapore, SHAPE Singapore and SHAPE Philippines respectively. The Under Armour Test of Will is an authentic platform that is resonant and engaging for people who are passionate about fitness, and is a clear demonstration of brand’s belief that life is not a test of what you can, it is a test of what you will.