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.