This is an old blog post, from another blog that I have. I wrote it just after interviewing Sheik Alau’ddin Bin Yacoob Marican, the Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Silat Federation. He told me that when he was 15, he was crazy about football, and that one day, his best friend heard that the local mosque was setting up a football team.
Of course, the two boys rushed down there to try out for the team.
“We waited and anticipated but there was no soccer team,” he told me. Instead, the mosque leaders formed a silat group, which the boys reluctantly joined.
That boy then went on to win the silver medal in Silat at the 1989 SEA Games, followed by consecutive SEA Games gold medals between 1991 and 1999 (amongst a shit-load of other medals). He is ranked as one of Singapore’s 50 greatest athletes.
And that really made me think — you can never know what life is going to throw at you huh? What if he had not gone down for that football try out? What if the mosque officials really had formed a football team? What if that disappointed teenager had just turned around and gone straight home when he found out it was a silat team they were forming?