COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE
CYCLING has become one of Malaysia’s favourites sports and national cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa’s successes on the international stage are one reason for that. The duo take time off to answer questions on the sport’s growth and the intr
Question: What do you think of the cycling culture in Malaysia? Azizulhasni:
I see that cycling is a growing sport in Malaysia amongst the youth as well as adults. Whilst cycling is usually viewed as a competitive sport, there is a growing trend of casual cyclists who treat it as a hobby and even take part in the various cycling events that are held around the country.
Fatehah: In my humble opinion, cycling is growing in Malaysia thanks to national initiatives by Fit Malaysia, and also the National Sports Day by the Sports Ministry. In fact, CIMB will be hosting its inaugural CIMB Cycle on March 26 in Seri Menanti, Negeri Sembilan.
Q: Could you please tell us more about CIMB Cycle?
The CIMB Cycle is a new mass participation cycling event designed to bring together the community — from cycling enthusiasts, casual riders, corporates, to adventurists. The event will feature two routes — the Endurance Ride (120km) for enthusiasts and experienced riders, and the Challenge Route (35km) for casual or novice riders.
Azizulhasni: The Endurance and Challenge Rides also have individual and team categories. The Endurance Ride has two special challenges, namely the King of the Mountain and Sprint.
The CIMB Cycle has a total of RM37,000 cash prizes to be won and whether you are looking to challenge yourself, make new friends, or just have some fun, CIMB Cycle aims to be an annual platform for engagement, fitness and charity for communities across Malaysia.
Q: CIMB Group has just announced the forming of the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team, naming you both as its brand ambassadors of the anchor team — how do you feel about this? Azizulhasni:
I am thrilled and honoured to be part of the CIMB ProCycling Team and to be named as a brand ambassador. The CIMB ProCycling Team serves as a unique platform for us to train as we keep our eye on the prize in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As a professional athlete, and one who hopes to represent Malaysia in the 2020 Olympics, this opportunity presented itself at the right time as we are just starting our rigorous training regime.
Fatehah: The partnership with CIMB means a lot to me and I’m truly excited by the prospect of training with my UCI track team to up our game for regional and international championships, and also raise the profile of cycling as a sport in Malaysia.
Q: What is the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team all about? Azizulhasni:
It’s a four-year sponsorship that also includes Muhammad Khalid Nasiruddin, 18, and Siti Nur Alia Mansor, 16, two junior track cyclists who are also from Terengganu.
The four of us will be trained by coach John Beasley in Melbourne, Australia.
Q: What are the objectives of the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team? Azizulhasni:
The new track team is set to compete at the start of the UCI’s 2017-18 season in April, with the goal of delivering Malaysia’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2020.
CIMB also hopes to nurture young talented athletes and with Siti Nur Alia and Muhammad Khalid on the team, we are confident that they will help lead the way to makecycling one of the top national sports of Malaysia.
Fatehah: In addition to that, the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team will serve to inspire more people to take up this fun and healthy sport of cycling too!
Q: What are you future plans, aside from professional cycling? Azizulhasni:
My aspiration is to study to the highest level possible. I’m currently pursuing a degree in Clinical Sport Science at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.
I hope to contribute my skills, knowledge, and experience as an athlete to help develop sports on a national level once in the future.
I also have great passion in giving back to the community through charity work and helping the underprivileged.
Fatehah: I’ve always been interested in running my own business as I have been inspired by my family who run a restaurant in Terengganu. I hope to start something of my own after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa participate in a promotional event in Shah Alam last year.