Written by Delwin Keasberry Friday, 27 July 2012 16:40
What do you do?
I am a student at Micronet College, but I am currently committed to the London Olympics. As such, I am not a full time student and have deferred my studies; I resume after the Olympics, in September 2012. Before this, I was a national hockey player. (Image source: Pelita Brunei)
Describe yourself in a few words.
I have always been an active person; since primary school! I like hanging out with my family, love cats, like playing Rock Band with my sibling, and also enjoy singing.
You will be Brunei's first ever female Olympian at the upcoming London Olympics. This is historic stuff! When and how did you first hear about it?
The Brunei National Olympic Committee (BNOC) notified me in September 2011 that I had been chosen as an eligible recipient for the Olympic Scholarship for London 2012. Two months ago, they then announced that I was going to represent Brunei at the Olympics.
Image source: belia-sukan.gov.bn
Tell us a little about your journey to date as an athlete. When did you decide to take sports seriously?
It happened during my Sports Day event in 2007 at the Balapan field. I took part in and won an 800m race. The athletic national team were there; they saw me run following which one of them approached me and offered me a chance to join their team.
So I gave it a try.
I trained with the National team for three months and then represented Brunei for the first time at the Teluk Danga Games in Johor. I did not win the race but I improved my time. It was then that I started to take this seriously. I went on to win a lot of local and international competitions and I was awarded with the Best Female Athlete in the national competition in 2009 and 2011.
Describe a 'normal' day in the life of Maziah Mahusin.
I train almost every day, Monday to Saturday, from 7.30am to 10.00am, and then from 3.30pm to 6.00pm. Sunday is my only rest day. In general, I spend more time with my family than I do with friends. Sometimes we go to the beach and sight-seeing. In previous fasting months, I trained during the afternoons in the preparation for Olympics. This was personally very challenging. (Image source: The Brunei Times)
You recently turned 19. This year, you have been in the news on numerous occasions, both locally and internationally. How have you coped with the recent 'fame'?
I have received a lot of emails and calls from the western media. It feels strange and different…and it is actually very difficult for me. But this is my opportunity to encourage the youth in Brunei to take part in sports. My aim is to inspire female athletes in Brunei. I really need more female athletes and running partners to work with.What are you most looking forward to at the Olympics?
The opportunity of meeting world class athletes.
Who inspires you?
Who inspires me? Hmm. No one. Hahah! I just really love running and I want to show the world that Brunei has potential athletes.
What are your thoughts about Sports in Brunei?
There is a lack of women athletes in Brunei. I find it is very challenging for women athletes to participate in sports. Often I find myself to be the only female athlete who continues to attend training. I think women athletes should not give up easily, must have a lot of patience and should constantly motivate themselves towards self-improvement. A balance is difficult; many have put more attention into their studies. Some of my peers have gained employment and were thus unable to attend training. Support for women in sports is also desperately needed.
You and fellow Bruneian Olympians Ak Haify Tajuddin Pg Rosit and Anderson Lim Chee Wei are inspirations to many of the local youth. Do you have anything you would like to say to them?
Yes, I hope my participation as the first female athlete to represent Brunei in the Olympics will open the pathway for other Bruneian female athletes. Don't be afraid to do something that you like to do. Just go out there and do it and don't ever ever give up!
Image source: Olympics.Time.com
Do you have any special shout outs or mentions for the many people who are supporting you?
I would like to say thank you to the Brunei National Olympic Committee (BNOC), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the local Persatuan Olahraga for giving me this opportunity to compete in the Olympics. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you also to all sponsoring companies and to everyone else for your on-going support - friends, family and cousins! Thank you very much! One more thing. Whatever the outcome for our National team at the Olympics, just keep on supporting Bruneian athletes. :D
Editor's Note: One of the great things about Projek Brunei is that I get to speak to a wide variety of locals. To date, there have been over 50 different local stories, each one unique, offering a different perspective about life in Brunei.
If you do an internet search on Ms Maziah Mahusin, you will come across a number of other articles. Many of them highlight the fact that she will be Brunei's first female olympian at this year's London Olympics. I do not know how she found time to respond to my email (this close to the Olympics), but she did.
One of the key things that jump out at me in Maziah's story is that simple sentence "So I gave it a try". Imagine if back in 2007 she said "ermmm, thanks but no thanks". It would have been a very different 2012 Olympics for Brunei. Maziah, you go girl!
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