Monday, July 21, 2014

‘Braveheart’ Anwarul

ANWARUL Hafiz Ahmad may have a heart defect but he is set to make his Commonwealth Games debut following years of hard work.

The youngster looks forward to a memorable outing with the national rugby sevens squad in Glasgow on July 26-27.

Anwarul, who is also good in football, was diagnosed with a heart defect at 15 but it has not stopped him from fulfilling his dreams of representing Malaysia at senior level.

“I was in Form Three at the time. I was suffering from fever one day and I went to see a doctor. I did not expect them to tell me there was a problem with one of the valves in my heart,” said the 21-year-old, who plays for UiTM Lions in club competition.

“The doctors told me I could still play sports on the condition that I build up and maintain a high level of fitness to avoid overstressing my heart.

“But my problem was convincing the coaches and team officials that I could still play. I appreciated their concern but I really wanted to keep playing.

“Prior to competing for Malaysia in the under-17 team at a competition in Bangkok (2010), I had to have my parents sign a letter stating they would not press charges against the team management should anything happen to me during the tournament. It had to be done in front of a commissioner of oath.

“Looking back I have no regrets and there is still a lot more I hope to achieve.”
The Negri Sembilan-born player proved to be an integral part of Lions’ surprise run to the final of the Super League last year. Although Lions lost to Keris Conlay, Anwarul was named as the most promising player of the tournament.

Grouped with heavyweights Samoa, Wales and Papua New Guinea, not much is expected from the national team in Scotland but Anwarul hopes they can put in a stronger performance than four years ago.

Anwarul and Faridzal Ismail (Conlay) and Izwan Abu Bakar (Wanderers), who all hail from Felda settlements, received RM5,000 each from Felda for making the Commonwealth Games squad during a buka puasa event for the national team recently.

By Fadhli Ishak - NST

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