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

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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?

Fate­hah:

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.

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