Friday October 26, 2012
Bowler Shalin hopes her sacrifice will help end title drought
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s Hari Raya Haji today and national bowler Shalin Zulkifli (pic) will have her hands full as Muslims everywhere celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice.
“I will have some spare time and I really cherish that. I’m going to cook and enjoy a good time with my family. The menu will include ketupat, rendang, kuah kacang and lasagna. Then I’ll have rush over to my bowling centre (Space U8 Mall in Bukit Beruntung),” she said.
While others will have the whole day to relax and catch up with their friends and relatives, Shalin hardly has time for herself and this, according to her, has been the biggest sacrifice she has had to make in her life.
Shalin, however, does not have any regrets.
In fact, she is determined to give more of herself to the sport in a bid to end her two-year title drought.
“I’m juggling with so many responsibilities. I am a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, a coach and a member of the elite bowling team.
“I hardly have any free time for myself and this is my sacrifice,” said Shalin.
“But then I knew what I was getting into and that I had to give up my leisure time – especially when I decide to make a comeback after giving birth.
“I’ll survive. It’s not easy doing the juggling act but this is what I have to do if I still want to do well in bowling and have a career at the end of it.”
The bowler, who has captured numerous world, Asian and Open titles since winning the national crown as a 12-year-old and a popular figure in Malaysian bowling for almost two decades, has yet to win a title since the 2010 Hong Kong Open.
However, the 34-year-old has shown glimpses of her brilliance since making a comeback after giving birth to Aleya exactly a year ago.
She made the stepladder finals of the Hong Kong and Indonesia Open in the last two months – finishing a commendable second and third respectively.
Shalin, who has given herself until the 2014 Asian Games to strike it right at the alley, knows that all her sacrifices will bear fruit with a little more patience and diligence.
“I am very happy with my performances in the last two tournaments (Hong Kong and Indonesia), especially in the step-ladder finals. It was really close as I gave it my best.
“I just need to keep bowling the way I’ve been doing and keep practising hard. I need to bowl in more tournaments to stay sharp,” said Shalin, who will compete in the Milo International All-Star Masters in December.
And the evergreen bowler had this message to all her Muslim friends: “To all those driving back to their hometowns, please stay safe.
“On this special day, I also want to thank all the sports and bowling fans for their support throughout my career.”