Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Malaysian Players Hone Skills Abroad

By Andrew Kasimir

Regardless of the very small size of the quidditch community in Malaysia, the country has been relatively active in the sport since quidditch was first introduced there in 2013. In the three years since the sport arrived, some Malaysians have been playing quidditch abroad while some started playing back home and then continued when they left the country. Here, we take a look at just a few of these Malaysians who are making a name for themselves in their respective clubs.

Nadhirah Chairil Anwar (UK: Warwick Quidditch Club)
A law student at the University of Warwick, Nadhirah started playing quidditch in Oct. 2015 after finding out about the sport at her university’s societies fair. Fitness and sports have always played a big role in Nadhirah’s life, but she particularly enjoys quidditch now.

It’s very gender-inclusive,” she said. “It isn’t limited to athletic people due to the game’s tactical nature.”

Anwar explained that though she holds a Malaysian passport and loves Malaysian food, she is more of a third culture kid having lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Kerteh, Malaysia; Houston, Texas; and Lagos, Nigeria. She recently found out how far quidditch, in a parallel to her own experience, has travelled. 

“Before I started playing, I knew the sport was being played in the U.S. and figured that it was being played in the U.K., but it didn’t occur to me that it had caught on in Asia, too,Nadhirah said.

As a player for Warwick Quidditch Club, Nadhirah has played at Southern Cup, Christmas Cup, which is a mercenary tournament, and the British Quidditch Cup 2016. 

When asked about possibly playing for her home country at a future World Cup, she said, “That would be amazing.

Nadhirah Chairil Anwar at Christmas Cup. | Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey Photography
Dalili Zahiah Zabri (US: Ohio State Quidditch)
Although her sporting background was in basketball, 19-year-old Dalili started playing quidditch in 2015 at the Ohio State University, where she is studying psychology.

“I accidentally signed up for quidditch at an involvement fair in 2015 and had no idea I’d be so committed to the sport,Dalili said.

Originally from Kota Damansara, Selangor, Dalili has already taken part in many quidditch tournaments including the Great Lakes Regional Championship.

Like most players, Dalili will always fondly remember her first tournament, but she says one of her proudest moments was when she got tackled, but still managed to keep possession in a game against Miami University.

“The guy was two times my size and was running toward me [to] make the tackle for bludger possession,” said Dalili. As I was being tackled and by now in mid-air, I somehow managed to beat him.
Dalili Zahiah Zabri at the 3rd Annual Dobby Memorial Tournament. | Photo Credit: Jessica Jiamin Lang Photography
“Quidditch is definitely one of the most unique sports I’ve ever played,” said Dalili. You don’t have to be into Harry Potter to play this game, but if you are, then it’s a dream come true.”

Ahmad Iyas Abidin (UK: Liverpuddly Cannons)
Hailing from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Iyas Abidin, or just Iyas as he is known among friends, plays for the Liverpuddly Cannons in Liverpool. The 20-year-old moved to the U.K. in Sept. 2015 to further his studies in law at the University of Liverpool and in Feb. 2016 was given the captain’s armband by the Liverpuddly Cannons. 

“I started playing quidditch on 16 Sept. 2014 at the Malaysia Day Fantasy Tournament,” Iyas said. It’s a funny story how I found out about quidditch. I stumbled upon it possibly in 2012 through a news report on Twitter. I later tried to persuade some of my friends to kickstart the game, but they said it looked silly. A year later, I stumbled upon the Damansara Dementors and signed up.

Just like Nadhirah did in Warwick, Iyas fell in love with the game because of its willingness to be all-encompassing and all-accepting.

“It’s a game that really challenges me both physically and mentally, and I enjoy that,Iyas said.

As a Liverpuddly Cannons player, he has taken part in Eggnog 2: A New Yolk, where his team went in as the underdog and came out as the winner. Interestingly, this was the team’s first tournament. He also just recently played at the British Quidditch Cup 2016.

Ahmad Iyas Abidin at the British Quidditch Cup 2016. | Photo Credit: Ajantha Abey Photography

While he leads the Liverpuddly Cannons in the U.K., his heart is still back at home with the Damansara Dementors, with whom his quidditch roots are.

“I’m really looking forward to the Asian Quidditch Cup and can’t wait to put a real stamp in the game for Malaysian quidditch,Iyas said.

Malaysia decided to skip the 2016 World Cup in Frankfurt but will be planning on sending a team to the next one in 2018.

We have a long way to go, but when the time comes, we’ll give the whole world a real go and show them the Malaysia Boleh spirit,” Iyas said.

No comments:

Post a Comment