Exploring nature the fun way

Creative play: The Gecko Tower climbing challenge is a favourite among visitors to the park.

Creative play: The Gecko Tower climbing challenge is a favourite among visitors to the park.

CHILDREN will be more successful in life if they have more time to play and have less institutional learning and tuitions.

Sim Leisure Group’s chief executive Sim Choo Kheng had that in mind when he founded the ESCAPE theme park in Teluk Bahang.

Brought up in a village in Penang, Sim said he had always known the value and fun of playing outdoors.

“This is why I designed ESCAPE differently from other theme parks, a departure from the conventional ideas of roller-coaster rides, and sugar-coated fantasies,” he said.

ESCAPE was built instead to offer a fun, safe destination with nature as the theme.

The fun at ESCAPE is designed to help visitors see that “growing up is optional”.

Sim said that psychological research has shown that problem solving has little to do with schooling and memorising formulae and facts.

“It requires judgement, wisdom and a creative ability that comes from life experiences. For children, those experiences are embedded in play,” he said.

ESCAPE is also registering teams for their inaugural ESCAPE Trophy 2014, an outdoor challenge with the chance to win trophies and RM21,000 in cash prizes.

Sim said that anyone can join, as long as they are at least 120cm tall and weigh less than 120kg. So, children and adults can compete together.

With every registration, teams of three will choose a date to compete in the qualifying heats where they will be challenged in four events starting from May 24.

Teams from the qualifying heats with the best times and scores will advance to the semi-finals to face more challenges and find a spot in the finals.

“Only one team will win the grand prize, but there are a number of consolation prizes and everyone will come out winners,” Sim said.

All those who register will receive free unlimited access to the park from now until the event’s finals on June 22.

ESCAPE staffers will be at Queensbay Mall from May 8 to 11 to promote ESCAPE Trophy and help teams register on the spot. Interested participants can also visit the theme park and sign up at the entrance to gain immediate free access.

The Star is the official media partner of ESCAPE Trophy 2014.

For details, visit