Monday, May 27, 2013

Aaliyah's dream to be a world champion

Aaliyah Hanifah Yoong only turns 10 in July, but she dreams to be a waterski tricks event world champion oneday.

A fortnight ago, Aaliyah improved on her personal best score to 4740 points in the IWWF Waterski World Cup in Palembang, which saw her move up in the world rankings for Open Women Tricks from top 100 to top 70.

But everything comes with a price. In the case of Aaliyah, she has to make immense sacrifices and is not able to do what all nine year-olds want to do - have fun and be free.

Aaliyah has a dream and she is committed to achieve it through sheer dedication, discipline and determination.

With her father Hanifah Yoong and mother Nozeela (Nozie) Sulaiman, both involved in the sport and supporting her all the way, Aaliyah's dream looks certain to be acheived.

Aaliyah also has her younger brothers Aiden seven and Adam five, already following her footsteps.

Water babies....Aiden, Adam and Aaliyah

Aaliyah besides her father and mother, also has her half-sister, Philippa Yong, who is 33 years-old but starting water skiing at 10 together with her brother Alex Yoong, to spur her on.

This is how champions are made. Not overnight! There has to be a lot of pain before the gain.

But what nine-year-old Aaliyah is displaying to achieve her dream is rare among Malaysian sportsmen and women. If only we can have more Aaliyahs in the other sports.

Nicol David too went through the same path and it is little wonder she is a world champion!

Can we have more Nicols and Aaliyahs?

Click on this TV3 Scoreboard interview for an inspiring interview.

2013-05-13 Aaliyah Yoong Hanifah - TV3 Scoreboard Report

 Read The Star report here:

Aiden and Adam in action.

Aaliyah takes to the pool as a six-month old  baby

Thursday, May 23, 2013

KJ's way!

Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, the new Youth and Sports minister has scored full marks in his first week in office.

The 37-year-old Khairy has said all the right things, addressed situations the right way and is definitely a fresh breath for sports in the country.

Today as the new Youth and Sports Minister, he tasted his first winning outting in Malaysian sports against an Asia Pacific field at the 30th Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open Championship at the KLGGC, when Kelly Tan won the title warding off a strong challenge from Filipinas, Princess Superal and Cyna Rodrique who finished joint second.

Khairy after presenting the trophy to team champions, Philippines
“It is good to taste some success today, after some difficult beginning in office where I had to deal with the badminton’s failure in the Sudirman Cup and the bribery allegations in soccer,” said Khairy at the Press Conference at KLGGC.

“In fact, I was joking with some of my staff that it is not a good time for me to become a Sports Minister when we have an ageing Nicol David and Lee Chong Wei and no new talents rising to give any indications that they can step into the shoes of these two.”

However, Khairy was quick to add that he is up for the challenge and believes there are many young athletes in many sports waiting to move up in ranks.

Khairy said that it is good that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has taken responsibility and promised to makes changes which include a change of guard.

“I am glad that the BAM have responded positively after my meeting with them because the association has to take the necessary steps. I cannot be making decisions for them.

“We need more associations to be accountable and look into ways to move forward with a new breed officials and athletes if necessary.”

Khairy said that the National Sports Council has a good development programme and he will be speaking to Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, the director-general, to see how things can progress from here.

Press Conference (from left to right) NSC Director-general,  Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong,Youth and Spors Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin, HH Tunku Puteri, Tunku Puan Sri Dato' Jawahir  (Malga President)  and Dato Rabeahtul Aloha Abbas (Malga Executive-Director)

It is without doubt that Khairy will take the path to engage all parties in sports and chose the correct path together to see sports in Malaysia move up to a higher level generally.

It is easier said than done, but all associations must take the cue from Khairy to be proactive, innovative, productive and accountable.

What we do not need is associations who look at the Sports Ministry and NSC as their cash cow, but instead start working on their own to manage their associations and their athletes well and above all act professionally.

On speculations that badminton players were keeping late nights and gambling, Khairy said that the association cannot pass the buck to the players.

“These players are young. They need to be guided. If they are still indiscipline, then associations have to take the harsh decision to drop them and bring in the players who are knocking on the doors.

“It is no use relying on the same players and each time there is a failure, blaming the players. As experienced and elder officials, they should have guided those players better and replace them if necessary and not condone them and then blame then when things do not go right.”
Khairy certainly did not mince his words and it was wise words for the sports fraternity.

Here is one minister who is young, has bright ideas, engages people for ideas and results, and takes the bull by the horns.

It is only hoped that he continues and end his tenure at the Youth and Sports minister just the way he has started.

He does not need people hanging around him with ideas to benefit themselves or people trying to impress him with ulterior motives.

Khairy should stand on his own and only engage the sports associations themselves to make the difference and move forward towards excellence.

There is too much negativity in the sports arena in Malaysia, and we need some positive charge  – Khairy is here to give that positive charge and let us use it in the direction to make Malaysian sports something to be proud again.

Khairy with HRH Tunku Ampuan Negri Sembilan , Tuanku Najihah (Royal Patron of the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association) and HH Tunku Puetri Tunku Puan Sri Dato' Seri Jawahir (Malga President)