More than looks
Article from the Sun daily by Azizul Rahman Ismail (posted on 07 Jan 2020)
SEARCH for her name on the internet, and there is no shortage of stories of her beauty juxtaposed against her fondness for motorcycles and physical activities. But scroll a little further, and you will also find her name pop up in a byline.
Biker, fighter, journalist, and navy recruit are just some of the titles that Ahirine Ahirudin proudly wears on her sleeve. theSun recently caught up with the 23-year-old athlete, in full dirt bike gear, at Most Fun Gym (MFG), a private motocross track in Damansara.
How did you start riding off-road bikes?
“It all started with a writing assignment at a dirt bike track. That’s when I caught the bug. When I did the research, I found that to travel the world on two wheels, you not only need on-road skills, but off-road skills as well.
“As time passed, I got into racing. My coach, former national GP racer Oh Kah Beng, got me into road races in Sepang. That’s how it all happened.”
It’s not a cheap hobby. How did you manage?
“Like my coach says, taking up motorsports is like marrying a princess. When I started, I wanted to do off-road, but the cost was too high [for] a student.
“So I told my coach, maybe I could work at MFG, and at the same time get a chance to learn more and play with the bikes. And that’s what I did.
“I cleaned the bikes, helped around the track, helped my coach with his students and [to prepare] everything.
“I also worked at a workshop to learn about the internal workings of the bike.”
What did you do before you got into bikes?
“I was studying at UiTM Melaka. NST offered me the job when I was still studying journalism and mass communications. I was also inspired by my parents, who are also media practitioners.
“I like the field because it opens up opportunities for me to try things that I have never done before. As a journalist, I get to write about experiences that no one else could [have]. It’s amazing.
“In UiTM Melaka, I was also a recruit at PALAPES, the army. I always wanted to try all these physical activities, but I only had the chance when I studied at UITM. Now I’m in the Navy.”
Why the Navy?
“I [actually] wanted to join the army. But, the opportunity to join the Navy was there for me, so I joined them. Plus it is part-time.
“My training is only on weekends plus the compulsory annual training in Lumut, Perak.
“I also picked up trail running and Thai boxing. These activities build up my strength and stamina, and help with my overall ability on the off-road bike.”
Is fashion and beauty important to you?
“I think it is essential, for first impressions especially. It represents yourself. I like to make it simple myself. Most of my clothes I borrow from my sister. She’s 16, and she’s more girly than I am.
“I tend to wear black all the time, so much so that people started telling me not to wear black. When I was in school, I even had a tuition teacher that said if I wore black [the next day], I could not enter their class.”
Do you feel that that’s a prejudice against girls, having to look a certain way?
“Well, on the bright side I get to try something new and wear colours. But, personally, I think I can do whatever I want. Some people should acknowledge that.
“[I will give] it a chance, but if I am not comfortable with it and if it is not ‘me’, you can’t blame me for not liking it.
“I can go into fashion, and I can get into modelling if I want to. It’s just that I don’t feel comfortable doing it.”
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