My interest in sports started since secondary school. I found out there was a small table tennis competition, in which I participated. Something that I did for leisure quickly became a serious interest for me. Coincidentally, I had a friend, who was already competing at national level, guided me in finding proper training. I started by training once a week, before asking the national competitive team coach if I could join the national training, to which he agreed and put me in the beginner national training.
My wish to enter the senior national training drew me to work harder and get better. I started to do some personal physical training. Even on school days, on very cold mornings, I would wake up early and ride my bicycle to the jogging track, go running or visited the gym to improve my stamina and strength. I then rushed back home to get ready for school. I had private tuition after school and after that, I would travel an hour on public transport to the training club, where I trained until nightfall. I was lucky enough to sometimes have a friend to drive me back home. Otherwise, I was back in public transport doing my one hour journey. Studying at night has become my daily routine as I need to balance between my studies and sports.
There were days when I remember going to sleep and waking up with muscular pain. It was exhausting, but my passion and will to succeed made the pain worth it. My biggest regret, I believe, was a day when I was leading a match for the international level selections. Needless to say, I wanted to win and represent my country. Unfortunately, at the end, I was overpowered by my opponent and did not make the cut. With the encouragement of my dear ones, especially my brother, I kept on training until I was selected to participate in an international competition that was being held in my home country.
#MySunwayStory started after completing my A-levels, I looked at some universities overseas, and realised they could be quite expensive. During my search, I attended an educational fair held by Malaysia Education Centre, in which I came across Sunway University. I had heard they were offering sports scholarships and decided to try and apply. Who knows? I could maybe get it, although I was quite doubtful. I was then called in for an online interview via Skype with the scholarship unit and sports executive officers.
To my amazement, I heard that I was given the scholarship! Once in Malaysia, I took part in a selection tournament and was quickly selected to be a part of #TeamSunway. I ended up winning a gold medal in my first inter-university competition; MASISWA. I look forward in representing Sunway University in more tournaments and I will try my best in making the institution proud.
There were lots of ups and downs during this journey but in the end, all the sacrifices and efforts put forward did pay off. Nothing in this world is easy to conquer. Thank you Sunway for trusting and bringing me this wonderful environment of studying and at the same time practising my favourite sport.
Sheik Muhammad Nilshaad Naeem Nowbuth
Bsc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance
Sunway Sports Scholarship