By Tony Mariadass
Rising sprinter Badrul Hisyam Manap has to thank his teacher Noraziah Kassim to thank for spotting his talent as a Standard 1 stundet of SK Batu Gagah in Merlimau.
Badrul, now 18, gained nationwide fame after breaking Watson Nyambek;s 17-year-old 100m record (10.3s) at the Asean Schools Games in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei last week. Badrul clocked 10.29s.
“If not for Cigku Nora, I will not have achieved what I have so far. I am grateful to her not only in spotting me, but also introducing to my coach Cikgu Poad (Mohd Poad Md Kassim), said Badrul at his home in Kampong Batu Gagah where he had thanksgiving lunch for his childhood friends and teachers
Noraziah, a Bahasa Malaysia teacher had no formal coaching background but always was interested in sports
“Even in Standard 1, Badrul had the ability to run faster than the rest of the children in school,” said the 41-year who lives just behind Badrul’s house.
“I then asked to do Phyical Education (PE) and kept an eye on Badrul. It was when he was in Standard Three that he started running in the school meet and was winning races.”
Noraziah then got involved in coaching more actively and was part of the Malacca Schools athletics coaching team. It was here she met Poad.
“I told Poad about Badrul and brought him to train in the city regularly.”
Poad was then teaching at the SK Sungai Udang and travelled to Malacca town to coach the Malacca schools team.
Noraziah and Poad also had to convince Badrul’s father (Abdul Manap) and mother (Rozinah Baba) to allow their son to take up athletics.
“Badrul’s parents were not keen to allow Badrul to take up athletics, as they wanted their son to concentrate in his studies. But we managed to convince them Badrul will go far in athletics,” said Noraziah who was later transferred to SK Seri Bandar.
Badrul joined Malacca’s sports school, SMK Seri Mahkota, for his secondary education and Poad was also transferred there in 2003 to coach.
“Badrul came under Poad fulltime. He moved to Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School in Bandar Penawar and with Poad when he was Form Four.
“It gives me great pleasure and honour to see what Badrul has achieved so far. But it is still early stages and he has still a long way to go to realise his true potential,” said Noraziah who holds a Level Two coaching certificate now and coaches throw events athletes.
Noraziah who also unearthed another talent in national back up javelin thrower Mohd Safizie Hasnol, believes discoverin of Badrul was not an accident.
“While I spotted him first, I introduced him to the schools programme in place. In fact SK Batu Gagah was a project school for athletes in Merlimau.
“With with good programmes and dedicated teachers, we can unearth many more talent,” said Noraziah who got married last month.
“I will continue to look out for more talent and do my bit to develop them. I want to bring the best out of them.”