Football: David Beckham enjoys 'flow and calm' of taiji

David Beckham practises taichi with grand master Tsu in a virtual appearance at the AIA Live in Singapore event on Oct 7, 2021. PHOTO: AIA

SINGAPORE - In his 20s, David Beckham would take at least 30 free kicks in training to hone his skills every day. But as he got older, he realised he needed to alter his approach to prolong his career so he cut this routine down to "10 or 15" each day.

This was one of the nuggets the former Manchester United and England star shared with the audience that logged on to the AIA Live in Singapore event on Thursday (Oct 7) evening.

"Your body changes, you have to look after it in different ways," said Beckham, who is AIA's global ambassador.

The 46-year-old former free-kick specialist retired in 2013 after winning the French league with Paris Saint-Germain. It was the eighth domestic league title he had won across three countries in a stellar career which saw him earn 115 caps for England.

In a question and answer session, he also picked out an 11-day spell in 1999 when he won the English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League as a United player, as the moment in his career he would relive again if given the opportunity.

As part of the AIA Live event aimed at promoting health and wellness, Beckham learnt about the centuries-old Chinese martial art of taiji from grand master Tsu.

Those who registered for the virtual session also witnessed a masterclass which included participants like local influencers Benjamin Kheng and Andrew Marko.

Since he hung up his boots, Beckham said he "mixes up" his workouts as he continues to place importance on health and fitness, and was excited when AIA challenged him to try taiji as part of the event.

"Learning about the spirituality of it from grand master Tsu and discovering more about the benefits of it was really fascinating," he said. "I enjoyed the flow and sense of calm whilst doing it and felt great after taking part."

Melita Teo, chief customer and digital officer of AIA Singapore, said: "This latest initiative will motivate Singaporeans to continue on this journey and do more to reach their health goals even as Covid-19 becomes endemic in our lives."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.