Boxer, actress, scientist - honouring Singapore's most inspiring women

Singapore's first female professional boxer Nurshahidah Roslie was honoured yesterday with a Great Women of Our Time Award, given by The Singapore Women's Weekly magazine. Another winner was Dr Andie Ang, a research scientist at the Wildlife Reserves
Singapore's first female professional boxer Nurshahidah Roslie was honoured yesterday with a Great Women of Our Time Award, given by The Singapore Women's Weekly magazine. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES
Singapore's first female professional boxer Nurshahidah Roslie was honoured yesterday with a Great Women of Our Time Award, given by The Singapore Women's Weekly magazine. Another winner was Dr Andie Ang, a research scientist at the Wildlife Reserves
Another winner was Dr Andie Ang, a research scientist at the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund. Ten women were commended at this year's awards ceremony at the Artemis Grill and Sky Bar.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

The road to being a professional boxer has been doubly hard for Ms Nurshahidah Roslie, 32.

On top of facing detractors who told her that "sports in Singapore is a joke", Ms Nurshahidah also had the added challenge of being the first local female professional boxer.

But persevere she did, and the boxer - who goes by the moniker "The Sniper" - now has 13 wins and six championship titles to her name, including the Asian featherweight championship belt from the World Boxing Council in 2017.

"I will just keep going and prove them wrong," said Ms Nurshahidah who is gunning for a world championship title.

For her feats in sport, Ms Nurshahidah was honoured yesterday with a Great Women of Our Time Award, given by The Singapore Women's Weekly magazine, a Singapore Press Holdings publication.

Ms Nurshahidah had tied with Ms Gillian Tee, 37, co-founder of senior home care start-up Homage, in the sports, health and wellness category of the annual award, which honours Singapore's most inspiring women.

Ten women were commended at this year's awards ceremony at the Artemis Grill and Sky Bar. Among them was actress and producer Tan Kheng Hua, 56, who made history in last year's Hollywood flick Crazy Rich Asians. The film is regarded as a trailblazer in Hollywood for being the first production to feature an all-Asian cast in more than 25 years.

Besides celebrities in the arts and sports scenes, the awards also recognised the ordinary Singaporean women who have made an extraordinary difference in their fields.

Mrs Adeline Thong, 40, was honoured in the public service and education category, for her efforts in running a youth shelter with her husband.

 
 
 

The shelter, known as The Last Resort, is a safe home for young people who have nowhere else to go.

Mrs Thong and her husband Kenneth were nominees of The Straits Times' Singaporean of the Year Award last year.

Another award winner was Dr Andie Ang, 34, a research scientist at the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.

The primate scientist is also president of the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore), a non-profit organisation that encourages the understanding and conservation of great apes.

"It's really heartening that they recognise environmental conservation as a field that deserves attention," said Dr Ang, adding that she was dedicating the award to the late conservationist Subaraj Rajathurai.

"Maybe in the future, we can move beyond great women to great people of our time - it would be nice if men can also be considered for the award. Perhaps it's time that we move towards a gender-neutral awards ceremony."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'Boxer, actress, scientist - honouring Singapore's most inspiring women'. Print Edition | Subscribe