Malaysia’s squash queen Datuk Nicol David is an inspirational figure to many.
The wall basher is already 35 but intends to continue rocking the courts for two more years. She is also eager to inspire young girls to be the best version of themselves.
As she continues training hard for tournaments and hopefully compete in the 2020 Women’s World Team Squash Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Nicol is eager to get her foundation going.
“At the moment, plans for my academy are on the back end as I am focusing on my foundation. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has come in pro bono to set up the structure, making sure everything is transparent. It (the foundation) is using sports to reach out to young girls and empower them.
“We need to encourage girls (to pick up sports) from a very young (age). As a girl myself, I would love to see all girls getting the opportunity to play sports and benefit from it.”
And she doesn’t want young girls to be another Nicol David.
“We don’t want them to be Nicol David but a really good, a really amazing version of themselves.”
Some people like to compare the previous generation (of athletes) and what I’ve done but what I’ve done is me … it’s an exception to what everyone else has done before.
“You don’t want to copy it … you want to create your own version. I only hope to inspire people to be a better version of themselves, not another version of me.”
The eight-time world champion admitted it’s a struggle worldwide to find women leaders.
“But we can teach them from young that we can all be leaders in our own way. The challenge is to find leaders occupying (influential) positions but it’s getting better.”
Nicol spoke to Twentytwo13 at the BFM & Mercedez-Benz’s Driven by Performance event at Sepang International Circuit last night. Earlier, she was on stage alongside adventurer Yusuf Hashim, Malaysia Airlines group corporate facilities head Rizal Khalif and Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd chief innovation officer Allen Woo as they spoke about what drives them to succeed and live life the fullest.
Nicol described her recent meeting with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman as “good”.
“We spoke about several matters pertaining sports and I offered my assistance,” she added.