17 April 2020
Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli is a para powerlifter. She was introduced to the sport when veteran para powerlifter Kalai Vanen invited her to a powerlifting open house organised by the Singapore Disability Sports Council. It was there that she lifted a 35kg bar, and with that, she was selected to go to the 2017 ASEAN Para Games, having met the minimum qualifying criteria. The Nanyang Technological University graduate continued to train hard and Aini also represented Singapore at the Asian Para Games in 2018. In that competition, she lifted a personal best of 61kg and finished 4th.
1. What is your sporting dreams or goals?
Every para athlete’s goal is to reach the pinnacle of their sporting journey by qualifying for the Paralympics. As I work towards that, my goal is to give my best at every training and competition and hopefully to inspire more people to love sports and persevere in achieving their dreams.
2. How are you working towards achieving it?
Aside from regular training, I take some time to reflect after every training session. I recognise the progress I’m making and also think about how I can improve. I have discussions with my Coach and revise my targets where necessary to ensure my wellbeing and also continued growth in this sport. When I achieve my targets at training, it motivates me to train harder.
3. Who are the people you’d like to thank for your sports journey so far?
I would like to thank my manager and colleagues at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). I started para powerlifting when I was 4 months into my job but my manager and colleagues have been supportive in my sporting journey. Every time I go for competitions, they cheer me on and they frequently ask about my progress in sports. I would not be able to juggle a full-time job and training without their support and understanding.
4. How has sport changed your life?
Sport teaches me to be patient. Previously I was impatient and I want instant results. But through sports, I see everything in life as a process, you have to take one step at a time before achieving your goal. Sometimes the longer the process, the sweeter the accomplishment.
5. What does #DefyLimits mean to you?
To me #DefyLimits means to overcome your personal limits which previously you thought was impossible.
6. Words of advice for persons with impairments who have not tried out sports/want to try sports?
My disability made me realise my true ability. If I do not have this disability, I do not think I will be doing para powerlifting. It is normal to be afraid the first time you are trying something new. But once you get the hang of it, it makes you excited to do more. This is when you will realise you are able to do it despite your disability.
Defy Limits is SDSC’s fundraising campaign for 2020. We can all help athletes with impairments to defy limits – through words of encouragement, acts of kindness, direct monetary contributions or lending your voice to cheer – every little bit counts.
Help athletes like Nur Aini to defy limits by donating here: http://bit.ly/SDSCDefyLimitsCampaign