From water girl to national mountain biker for young Orang Asli woman

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A young Orang Asli female from Pahang is out to confirm that absolutely nothing is impossible in athletics as very long as you do the job challenging more than enough and lengthy ample to chase your desires.

Nia Vanessa Suhana, 23, applied to accompany her pal, Siti Natasha, to the biking observe each individual weekend to view her educate.

When she was an athlete in her own ideal, she specialised in canoeing or rowing. Pursuing Siti Natasha to her schooling periods, she retained typically to the sidelines, bringing the other people drinking water any time they ended up thirsty.

“I was the drinking water female,” she claimed in a modern job interview with MalaysiaNow.

Sooner or later, nevertheless, the trainer invited Nia to be a part of in as properly. That was the start out of her job in mountain biking — a sport wherever speed and endurance are wanted in equal quantities.

An extra spurt of speed takes Nia through a bend at Taman Cabaran Putrajaya.

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An additional spurt of pace takes Nia by a bend at Taman Cabaran Putrajaya.

At that time, Nia was only 15 years old and however attending boarding faculty in Kuantan. By the time she was 17, although, she was participating in competitions on both of those the domestic and intercontinental fronts.

Now, she is recognised as a person of the country’s greatest in the activity, just lately profitable very first put in the women’s open category at the Enduro Bukit 300 Obstacle 2022 in Perak.

In the intercontinental arena, Nia has participated in contests in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, ending among the the top 3 in each and every one particular.

“Nobody thought I could do it,” she stated. “I used to be the weakest a single in the staff.

“It’s all thanks to my trainer and my close friends that I have created it this significantly.”


Nia is the oldest of 4 siblings. Her mom is from the Temuan tribe even though her father is from the Semelai community.

She is currently in her ultimate semester of a system in sports activities science at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi.

Nia, representing the AGS team, holds up her prize for first place in the women’s open category at the recent Enduro Bukit 300 Challenge 2022 in Perak.

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Nia, symbolizing the AGS staff, holds up her prize for initially spot in the women’s open up classification at the recent Enduro Bukit 300 Problem 2022 in Perak.

But although she is common with standing on podiums at international competitions, it is an uphill climb for assistance in the place where mountain biking is not a regarded activity.

Nia pays for all the things herself: the cost of tools, entrance expenses, lodging and transportation to competitors venues.

She been given guidance and sponsorships from the Pahang athletics council but this is not plenty of to include the correct value of her charges.

Yet, matters are commencing to look up for the younger athlete, who was lately provided a better bicycle as properly as a scholarship at college.

“This way, I can pay out for my personal scientific studies,” she said. “I can acquire care of myself with out based on my dad and mom any more.”

But even with her limited routine, packed to the brim with instruction periods and competitions, she is aware of the want to focus on her scientific tests.

Nia sits on the ground for a quick break with a fellow athlete during a training and endurance session.

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Nia sits on the floor for a rapid split with a fellow athlete all through a education and endurance session.

At night, she turns her concentration to her function — examining, finishing her assignments, and studying for forthcoming tests.

Throughout the working day, she is entirely immersed in her instruction.

“I at the time lagged by a total thirty day period behind my classmates simply because of schooling and competitions,” she claimed. “But my close friends aided me catch up.”


Nia has viewed as opening a cycling centre in her village to assistance Orang Asli youngsters acquire up the activity, but she is aware that this will be challenging to obtain.

“Anyone would be equipped to sign up for, not just Orang Asli small children,” she mentioned.

“But this would be pretty pricey, and Orang Asli youngsters are inadequate. They have no cash for bicycles.

“If we could get sponsors, possibly extra individuals could join and more athletes could be discovered.”

Nia and her friend Siti Natasha exercise to stay fit and improve their stamina at Taman Metropolitan Kepong.

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Nia and her pal Siti Natasha exercising to keep match and boost their stamina at Taman Metropolitan Kepong.

She mentioned many of her kin and close friends back again in the village had voiced hope of being “like Nia”, turning out to be athletes and going to college just one working day.

This helps make her extra established than ever to do well.

“Not a lot of know who I am, but when I hear factors like that, I know that I have to operate tougher,” she mentioned.

She also hopes to turn out to be a athletics ambassador to aid other younger people who dream of getting to be athletes.

When some belittle her for deciding upon a career in sports activities, or say that mountain biking is an not known occasion, her aspiration is to prove them completely wrong.

“I want to show them that by means of athletics, I can be successful and stand on my have two toes,” she mentioned.

“I have been scolded by individuals who search down on me, but I can silence them as a result of my good results and prove that sporting activities can carry men and women up as effectively.

“Through athletics, I can be independent, and I can however continue with my reports. Just because I’m an athlete doesn’t indicate I neglect my courses.”