Bowled over by travel
Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi combines her love for bowling with her passion for travel
Article from the Sun daily by S. Indra Sathiabalan (posted on 6 Aug 2020)
SHE is one of the elite members of the National Sports Council of Malaysia, and now that most restrictions have been lifted, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and her teammates have started training once again for international bowling events.
Perak girl Syaidatul (who turns 29 in October) is a member of the national women’s team that won gold at the World Championships in Las Vegas in 2017, and at the Asian Games in Palembang in 2018.
Thanks to her bowling skills, Syaidatul has also travelled to various countries for tournaments, which has helped her amass a huge following on Instagram with her pictures in various destinations.
Prior to taking up bowling, Syaidatul played netball for her state. However, she eventually chose bowling, and at age 11 gave up netball to bowl full time.
She was selected for the National Junior team when she was 17 years old.
Syaidatul also took up a course in Tourism Management, but had to take a temporary break because she needed to fully concentrate on her bowling when she was selected for the team for the Asian Championship in 2014. She does plan to finish her course eventually.
What have you been doing these past few months?
“My teammates and I have been fully on lockdown at home. There has been no bowling at all. But we still continue our workout at home everyday.
“This includes cardio and some exercises without weights. We contact each other through Skype and we also have our trainer monitoring us through Skype.”
With many major tournaments postponed this year, is there a particular tournament you are training for?
“Actually we are looking at the Asian Championships scheduled for next year.”
How did you first get interested in bowling?
“I actually got into bowling because of my dad. He used to play for his company. After that, I started following my dad to his friendly tournaments and league tournaments.
“I would bring my homework to the bowling alley. When I watched my dad play, I wanted to try. When I tried it, I liked it. So I would practise every time he played.
“He ended up hiring his friend who was a national bowler to be my coach. That is when I started bowling.”
Are there special exercises you have to do daily as a bowler?
“We need more muscle mass. When we bowl we have to throw that 15lb (6.8kg) ball. It is heavy, and so we need that muscle mass.
“We have weight training. You can see some bowlers who [can lift their own body] weight in the gym. I can deadlift 50kg.”
Were you inspired by some national bowlers growing up?
“Yes. After I fell in love with bowling, I looked up to bowlers. I heard about [former Asian number 1 bowler] Shalin Zulfikli, and I really liked how she bowled. I wanted to be like her because I liked her fighting spirit. [I wanted to] be strong like her.”
What is it like to travel for bowling tournaments?
“I never had that dream to travel the world. At the same time, I feel happy and blessed, because not everyone has had the opportunity to travel everywhere because of bowling.
“There were many tournaments in Europe and the US. I took the opportunity to see the country [I was in] and [learn] its history. Whenever I had a break, I would go look for a historical place to just learn and find out more.”
What is your ultimate goal?
“My parents sacrificed a lot for me. I think what drives me now is that I want to repay them for their sacrifice.
“They wanted me to represent the country, which is what I did. After winning the World Championship, I feel like winning more tournaments.
“Each time we win, we get a bonus. In this world, each time you win you get bonuses, and attract sponsors. That is what drives me to work hard.”
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