Rising bowler Puteri Nurshahira Ahmad Shahridzal’s motivation to emulate the success of illustrious bowler Shalin Zulkifli is her love and wish for her mother she lost as a three-year-old.
Nurshahira lost her parents in a road accident in 2002 when the express bus her parents were travelling from Ipoh to Malacca to visit her over the weekend crashed onto a lorry.
Four people died in the accident with many others seriously injured in that accident along the South Highway close to Air Keroh.Nushahira was three then.
Her grandparents, Ahmad Hj Alambak and Raja Rohani – parents of her parents – have been her guardians ever since and father and mother to be more accurate.
Ahmad Hj Alambak, Puteri Nurshahirah and Raja Rohani
Infact, six months before Puteri Nushahira’s parents passed away, she was already living with her grandparents, as her mother (Wan Nor Azalina Laily) had a job transfer to Ipoh with RHB Bank.
Her parents would visit her in Malacca over the weekends driving from Ipoh to Malacca.
But that fateful weekend, her father – Ahmad Shahridzal – was too tired to drive and decided to take bus.
“It was a dreadful day and till today, we can’t get over it. Not only did we lose our daughter and son-in-law, but our granddaughter was made an orphan,” recalled Ahmad at the Mega Lanes in Sunway Pyramid where Nushahira competed in the Peter Memorial Cup last Monday night.
"Puteri's father had died instantly after the accident, but her mother died after a week in hospital. Infact, she was recovering well, until suddenly it took a turn for the worse. We were praying so hard that she will survive, but it was not to be," added Ahmad.
In the Peter Memorial Cup, Nushahira finished runners-up behind Selangor’s Ainin Sofiya.
Tan Sri Mohd Noor Abdul Rahim (MTBC Deputy president and OCM vice-president) after presenting Puteri Nurshahiraprize her prize feat for Peter Memorial Cup“I was still too young to recall the fateful day when my parents passed away. For me, my grandparents are everything. But I can vividly remember my mother taking me to bowling centres because she used to bowl,” said the 13-year Form Two student of SMK Convent, Bandar Hilir.
“My grandparents have since told me that my mother wanted me to emulate Shalin (Zulkifli) and I want to fulfil the wish of my mother.“My grandparents have continued to take me to the bowling centre and I am indebted to them for encouraging and supporting me to achieve my mother’s wish.
“I know I still have a long way to realise my mother’s wish, but I am glad that I am on the right path. I intend to train very hard and diligently to one day come close to what Shalin has achieved,” said Nushahira.“My daughter who used to bowl socially had always told us that she wants Nushahira to excel in bowling and reach the status of Shalin. She has been taking her to the bowling centre since she was two,” chipped in Ahmad, retired army personnel.
“We are just doing everything possible to see our daughter’s wish come true,” added Raja Rohani.And indeed Nushahira is on the road to stardom.
Nushahira who has been doing well academically too, having scored 5As in her UPSR examinations and was named the top student in Malacca when she was Standard Six and given an award by the Malacca Chief Minister, has been winning her fair share of bowling medals too.
In the MSSM national bowling championship she has emerged the top bowler in the Under-12 category in singles, doubles, team, All-Events and Hi-score for two consecutive years, before she repeated the feat in the Under-15 category this year.
In the Sportexcel-NSC-Milo-MTBC Junior Circuit, she has already one leg in Perak last year in the Under-15 category.
“Sometime, I wish my mother was here to see me bowl,” said Nurshahira with a tinge of sadness and tears welling in her eyes.
But by all counts, Nurshaira has already done her parents proud and with her determination and prowess so far.
All indications are that this will not be the last time we hear of her.
MTBC president, Datuk Dr P. S. Nathan who knows of Nurshaira’s tragic loss and her ambition to do well in bowling, has been following her progress and was full of praise for her determination and the support of her grandparents.
He met up with the grandparents recently and personally congratulated them for their dedication to their granddaughter’s ambition.
To Nurshaira’s grandparents, kudos and keep up the good work and will power to make Nurshaira a top notch bowler and at the same time fulfil their daughter’s wishes.