Syahidah aiming for a new experience

Nur Syahidah Alim, the 30-year-old Team Singapore para-archer, training at Shelton College International yesterday. She will join forces with able-bodied archers for the first time at the Singapore National Games.
Nur Syahidah Alim, the 30-year-old Team Singapore para-archer, training at Shelton College International yesterday. She will join forces with able-bodied archers for the first time at the Singapore National Games.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim took up the sport when she was 18 and has never competed in the same team with able-bodied archers. But the 30-year-old will enjoy that new experience at the Singapore National Games (SNG).

The multi-sport competition, featuring 16 sports and five disability sports (archery, boccia, bowling, swimming and table tennis), is part of GetActive! Singapore, a week-long sporting extravaganza held during the National Day week from July 30 to Aug 7.

The unique format of the Aug 6-7 archery competition allows disabled and able-bodied archers to compete together in a team of three.

Syahidah, 30, said: "The rules are similar, the difference is just in how we position ourselves on the shooting line."

Syahidah, who was born with cerebral palsy which affects her leg movements, shoots from a sitting position, while her able-bodied team-mates will shoot from a standing position.

She will be grouped with her able-bodied friends whom she met in January at DM Archery, a company that operates outdoor ranges.

Coincidentally, she had celebrated National Day last year with the same group of people at a barbecue cum archery competition they had organised.

She said: "I feel that it's going to be meaningful because it will be more of a bonding session between the able-bodied archers and us. And because of this event, we have a chance to just hang out together.

"I see SNG as a platform for inclusiveness and for the community to mix together."

The Sport Singapore corporate strategy executive, who won two gold medals (individual compound and mixed team) at last December's Asean Para Games, is eager to meet beginners who are trying out the sport for the first time.

"There will definitely be new people and I am hoping to see some of them come down and participate," said Syahidah. "If I see someone who is new, I want to encourage them to pursue the sport."

Despite her years of experience in the sport, she will be shooting at a new venue, the Marina Bay Floating Platform.

Syahidah said: "I'm excited as I never thought I'd be able to shoot there. What a unique experience."

  • Registration closes on Friday. Interested participants can sign up at www.myactivesg.com
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 10, 2016, with the headline 'Syahidah aiming for a new experience'. Print Edition | Subscribe