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My daughter, the athlete

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My daughter, Nurul Insyirah Md Faisal, is currently studying in Singapore Sports School and has recently won a silver medal in the 200m C-girls division at the 57th National Inter-School Track & Field Championships. Her C-girls team also struck gold in the 4 x 100m relay and came in second in the 4 x 400m relay.

Nurul Insyirah Md Faisal

Nurul Insyirah Md Faisal (bib no. 103) in action during the 57th National Inter-School Track & Field Championships. Photo: Ismarina Ismail

Insyirah is a rookie in terms of athletics, having only started her athletics journey in December 2013. She was then only starting Primary 6 the following year. In her Primary School, she was a member of the English drama club and the prefectorial board. She was involved in English drama and had been a prefect since Primary 2. Her involvement in sports were limited to PE lessons and the school sports day. Back then, she had never won any medals for individual races until April 2014, after she started training in athletics.

I recall that she first got involved in athletics when I started joining a Track & Field club, Club Zoom, to train for my first Masters race. I was then 34 years old. I brought Insyirah and her younger sister, Shaista, along during my training one day and let them try out the sport.

She loved it! However initially, Insyirah was a little hesitant to continue, as she was not used to the intensity of training three times a week. She couldn't adapt to the training programme. 

Nurul Insyirah Md Faisal

Insyirah was initially hesitant to pursue athletics but embraced it eventually with support from her parents. Photo: Ismarina Ismail

With a bit of initial push from my husband and myself, and her own determination to succeed, she continued to pursue the sport until today. Her first successful competition was during her school sports day in April 2014. She was then in Primary 6 and she came in first for the 400m race and beat the defending champion.

In 2014, she participated in several races apart from the school sports day; Akira-Swift, Primary School National Championship and the Sports School invitational meet. Her talent was spotted during the latter event where she was called up for trials.

Many students who are currently pursuing athletics started as early as Primary 1 or 2. Some took up additional training to boost their performance. Even though Insyirah has only been involved in the sport for about three years, she has proven that it is not about when we start that's important, it is about how much we want to succeed. 

Nurul Insyirah Md Faisal

Insyirah (first from right) and her team mates at the National Inter-School Track & Field ChampionshipsPhoto: Ismarina Ismail

Insyirah may be a late bloomer but she has shown that it is never too late to take up sports. Her determination to succeed, dedication to the sport and her discipline have contributed a lot to her recent race results. She has a lot more work to do to improve her performance and become an even better and stronger athlete.

She will be competing in Taipei for International Children's Games, and in Chon Buri for Thailand Sports School Games, both in July 2016. Her last overseas competition was in Perth for WALA in March this year.

As a mother, I’m glad that she has found her passion and I will support her fully in whatever she chooses to pursue in life. To me, that is the best Mother’s Day present ever.

This article was contributed by Ismarina Ismail.

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