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Hajar’s final hurrah

September 26, 2013 - 12:26am

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TNP PICTURE: Latashni Gobi Nathan

SHE ENDED her hockey career at Millennia Institute (MI) by winning her second consecutive A Division bronze medal in May.

But, for Siti Hajar Asri, it was as good as a gold.

After all, the MI vice-captain had made up for five years of lost time.

Hajar, who comes from a family of seven, picked up hockey from older brother Muhammad in Huamin Primary School and was talented enough to turn out for the national girls’ Under-12 squad in 2005.

When she moved to St Margaret’s Secondary, however, Hajar missed out on the inter-schools competition as her school did not offer hockey as a co-curricular activity (CCA).

She tried something new and joined the performing arts, although it wasn’t the same.

“I didn’t feel that I had achieved much when I was in secondary school,” said the 20-year-old Year 2 student.

“I missed playing hockey because most of my friends continued playing and I felt a little left out.

“It was nice to play hockey again in MI.

“When we clinched the bronze medal, it felt like gold.”

Even though she feared her stamina wasn’t good enough, and she had lost much of her skills, Hajar took the plunge and picked up the hockey stick again when she joined MI in 2011.

It was as if she had never left the sport.

After repeating Year 1, the centre-half became team captain last year, and Hajar led MI to the A Division bronze with victory over St Andrew’s Junior College.

It was only the school’s second bronze in Girls’ hockey in the competition.

Focusing more on her studies – after obtaining poor results – Hajar relinquished the armband and became vice-captain this year.

She continued to pull the strings for the team, though, and the school subsequently repeated the feat, once again beating SAJC to claim third place.

Despite giving up the captain’s armband, Hajar’s influence was still keenly felt throughout the squad.

Stepped up

Teacher-in-charge Azra Shazeaa Hairuddin said: “Hajar really stepped up during the A Division season this year because she was always motivating her teammates.

“She’s not the firm or harsh kind of leader, but she knows what she wants and is able to win over her teammates to get them to see things from her perspective.

“She also leads by example. If the team can’t train because of rain, she will be the first one to sit down and take out her books, and her peers will follow and start revising together.”

Even though she will be too old to compete in the A Division next year, Hajar won’t be sitting idle in her final year at MI.

She said: “I’ll most likely continue playing for a club and remain active in sport.

“I’ll also probably come down for training once in a while and help the team out with their skills, strategy and maybe even fitness.

“I hope to see them achieving even better next year and I’ll continue to give them my full support and encouragement.”

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