“The best advice I was ever given is to never forget my roots. Never become arrogant, always stay humble and never forget those who have helped me.”
Muhammad Farhan Bin Amran is a father of two, commits to delivery work by day and is a technician by night. He makes time to train for the upcoming SEA Games each night for five nights a week. Surviving on less than four hours of sleep daily, our national sepaktakraw captain brushes it off cheerily, “I’m used to it. But I’m really thankful to have an understanding coach and employers, and most importantly, thankful for my understanding and supportive wife.”
We speak to Farhan, the man of multiple roles, on his thoughts and views of life.
Getting to know our sepak takraw player
Q: Where do you live?
A: Woodlands, close to Admiralty MRT. I’ve lived here for the past 18 years.
Q: What is the one thing you like most about your neighbourhood?
A: Woodlands wasn’t fully developed during my first five years here. It slowly begun to have shopping malls like Causeway Point and Vista Point. And that makes it really convenient. I have everything I need near my area and that includes a bunch of friendly neighbours too. They’ll never fail to say hello whenever we bump into each other at the supermarket doing our grocery shopping. We’ll also go over to each other’s house during Hari Raya Puasa. They’ll invite me over for meals during their gatherings and other festive seasons. Oh, all my sepaktakraw friends live in Woodlands too!
Q: What is the most interesting memory you have when playing your sport?
A: I competed in the 2014 Asian Games in Korea and won the bronze medal. It’s significant because it’s been more than ten years since sepaktakraw last gotten a medal. It’s a really big achievement for me, especially when I’ve been playing the sport for almost 15 years, since my secondary school days.
Q: What is the most embarrassing moment you’ve had while playing your sport?
A: I normally wear contact lenses during training but there was a period of time where I had sore eyes and had to wear my spectacles instead. My training mates kept laughing at how I really look like a nerd. There was once the ball flew and almost struck my face. I moved my head really quickly in order to avoid the ball and my spectacles flew onto the floor. My training mates found it hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing at me.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals before a major sporting event?
A: I will say my prayers before every competition.
Q: Where do you get the time to rest given your hectic schedule?
A: I’m used to a hectic schedule. My delivery job is from 11am – 7pm. Trainings are from 8pm – 10.30pm and my technician job is from 11pm – 7am. Trainings used to be twice a week but the coach had us step it up to daily trainings from Mondays to Fridays. My employer is really understanding about it and allows me to take breaks in-between. Weekends are my rest days to catch up on sleep and to spend time with my family. My wife is really understanding and supportive. She’s the best wife one can ask for.
Q: What was the best advice you were ever given?
A: The best advice I ever got is to never forget my roots. Never become arrogant, always stay humble and never forget those who have helped me.
Q: What is your one food based guilty-pleasure?
A: I love fried chicken but had to cut down on it in preparation for the SEA Games. I have to maintain my weight. I love kway teow goreng too. In fact, I just had it two days ago. But it’s really oily and I probably have to cut down on it as well.
Q: If you had the chance to have a superpower, which would you choose?
A: I want to be superman, to be able to fly, save people and protect my neighbourhood.
Q: How would you want the community to remember you by?
A: I hope sepaktakraw will be more recognized as a sport and that I’ll be able to introduce it to more primary and secondary schools. I hope my community will remember me as someone who is passionate about the sport and is always actively promoting it.