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In Good Hands of Our Beloved Pioneer

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Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for having me exactly where You want me to be. It’s not really my comfort zone place but I wouldn’t have it it otherwise. I plan, You plan. But You always win. I just bumped into a beautiful hadith that came in very timely.

 “Tiga hal yang merupakan pusaka kebajikan: merahasiakan keluhan, merahasiakan musibah dan merahasiakan sedekah.” (HR. Thabrani) 

 “Sesungguhnya manusia diciptakan bersifat keluh kesah lagi kikir. Apabila ia ditimpa kesusahan, ia berkeluh kesah.” (Q.S. Al Ma’arij: 19)

I went to FAM (Footbal Assoc. Malaysia) HQ just recently. We are collaborating with them on an event happening in a week called Girls’ Under 14 Football Carnival, FAM 2017. Alhamdulillah I’m super excited. They’re basically in search, going to nurture and train Malaysia’s next ‘Ramli’ star player, in this case we call her ‘Ramlah’.

I met the HOD of Women’s Football Team, Pn Normala Rashid, an ex-Malaysian Woman Team Player back in the good old days when I bet I wasn’t even born yet. A petite and lean lady who doesn’t look like her age (a grandma with three cucus to be exact to help you paint a better picture). In that short moment of discussion regarding work, in all seriousness, I felt her humbleness and sincerity. I was just floored. She has a deep and crisp voice that made every word uttered came out loud and clear without raising her voice. For such a brief and casual encounter, every word uttered was well thought out. She did not waste her time because in that short and sweet moment in time, she spoke as needed, stopped to listen and replied in affirmative and constructive manner. She adjourned the meeting professionally after 20-30 minutes with grace and politeness as though she had given the best hospitality to us. We went to the lobby and took photos together with the background of medals and trophies.

Instances that I captured which still linger in my mind which forced me to share with you:

1. Her communication with her exec. She didn’t yell, mock nor came out pushy when she stated that she has been asking to replace her old office chair with an ergonomic one. “Nanti Zaza tolong request untuk kerusi baru na. Dah lama dah minta. Dok sakit belakang ni. Tolong, na”

2. She mentioned how she used to look, act and play like a boy with shorts and all, never mind caring about skin care! Talking about her experience, she said now she finds herself telling the women’s team players that “Sebenarnya akak tak berapa berkenan yang adik-adik rambut pendek2 sangat.” She said, you can still be feminine while being renounced footballers. You don’t have to change your identity nor act all macho to prove your worth. But then again, these things are sensitive and cannot be forced. “With wisdom, soft reminders and good conduct, we hope their hearts are touched and softened,” she expressed.

3. She kept saying that “We are nobody” implying to the women’s team and where they are currently situated in comparison to men’s. So let’s just do our work and start from the ground up. She was the person responsible fighting for the Women’s Football Team to come under the limelight to get the support and attention they need.

Being an ex-sports girl, I felt her. I remember the burning desire to be no less than man in terms of performance and attention even though we were teamed up based on our sex. Malaysian Women’s Team may have a long way to go until they catch up with the men’s team but at least they are now moving. They have a pioneer from grassroots to guide them and champion them on the field and behind the stage.

This article abt her blew me awayyy!

 “After her marriage that year, Normala took a break from the sporting world, but her passion for football remained – she completed coaching courses and became certified. In 1998, she formed a sports NGO called Kelab SriKandi (now known as Perak Queen’s Club, or PQC) and has since trained children, especially under-12 boys and girls, who want to play football.”

Passing The Torch For The Love Of Malaysian Women’s Football

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