Penang junior hockey player Mimie Zulaika comes from a broken home but that did not stop her from excelling in the sport she loves.
KANGAR: Penang’s Mimie Zulaika comes from a poor and broken family.
She was only 12 when her parents divorced. But that did not stop her from taking up hockey.
The setbacks seem to have strengthened her resolve she has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport.
She was roped into the women’s national back-up squad following an outstanding performance in the girls’ National Under-16 tournament in Kangar in March.
She scored two goals to steer Penang to an impressive 3-1 win over Negri Sembilan in the final. She was also named player of the match in the final.
Only 15, Mimie is already representing Penang in the Perlis Malaysia Games (Sukma).
Penang coach Leo Vincey is full of praise for Mimie, describing her as a “talented player”.
Mimie, a Form Three student of Mutiara Impian Sports School, admitted that it saddened her when father, Zaini Hussin, left them three years ago.
“It’s not easy to survive with just my mother Zaidah Zainun’s salary of about RM900 a month. My mum, who works as a clerk in a private firm, has to pay the house rent, bills and the groceries,” said Mimie, who is the only child and who lives with her mother in Bukit Minyak.
“Despite the hardship, it did not stop me from taking up hockey. And I’m delighted that I helped Penang win the National Under-16 title and was called up to join the national back-up squad.
“I see it as the turning point in my hockey career ... I’m only 15 but I’m already in the national back-up squad.
“Being in the squad has boosted my morale and confidence to play much better in my first Sukma.”
Penang, who lost to Selangor 2-1 on Saturday, could only draw 1-1 against Perlis at the SMK Kuala Perlis Turf on Sunday.
Nor Robiatun put Perlis ahead in the 53rd minute with a field goal before Penang equalised through Nur Adriana, also off a field attempt, four minutes later.