4YO Malaysian has joined nearly 100 pushbike competitions in Asia


Wan Ayden stands tall as one of Malaysia's youngest pushbike champions, with over 70 trophies to his name. Photos: Datin Seri Nur Syafira Mohd Zain

Wan Ayden Maleeq Wan Mohd Muzri is just four years old, but he's already participated in nearly 100 pushbike competitions for children, both locally and internationally, including Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

He's already carved a name for himself as among the youngest pushbike champions in the country.

Pushbike king: Wan Maleeq (centre) has clinched nearly 80 trophies to date. Pushbike king: Wan Maleeq (centre) has clinched nearly 80 trophies to date.Standing at less than 1.2 metres tall, the preschooler has amassed nearly 80 trophies, securing numerous podium finishes (including many first place wins) in competitions tailored for kids between two and nine.

Last November, he emerged winner at the Runbike Championship Series pushbike competition in Tokyo, Japan, making him the first Malaysian to bring home the champion's trophy.

In February, he came in tops again at the Rockfish Thailand Champion Cup in Phatthalung, Thailand.

"I love riding pushbikes. And I train very hard because I love the sport," says Wan Ayden during an interview in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur recently.

"He has participated in too many races in the last two years," says his mother, homemaker Datin Seri Nur Syafira Mohd Zain, 34. "My husband and I keep motivating him. We remind him that if he trains hard, God willing, he will be rewarded with one of the top prizes."

'Keep on learning, if you fall, stand up and start again,' says Wan Maleeq (left). Photo: Instagram/Maleeq_dragster'Keep on learning, if you fall, stand up and start again,' says Wan Maleeq (left). Photo: Instagram/Maleeq_dragster

Vroom vroom away

Pushbikes or miniature bicycles are designed to help toddlers learn balance before transitioning to tricycles.

Although this sport may seem relatively unknown to many Malaysians, interest is steadily growing, particularly among certain communities in the country.

Wan Ayden was introduced to pushbikes when he was two and learning to ride the two-wheel bicycle of his older siblings, Wan Adra Mikayla, nine, and Wan Faith Mikael, seven.

Wan Maleeq (clockwise, top) is lucky to have his siblings, Wan Adra (right) and Wan Faith by his side.Photo: Instagram/Maleeq_dragsterWan Maleeq (clockwise, top) is lucky to have his siblings, Wan Adra (right) and Wan Faith by his side.Photo: Instagram/Maleeq_dragster

Nur Syafira says Wan Ayden quickly developed a knack for pushbiking and began participating in competitions when he was about two and a half years old.

"We've always encouraged Wan Ayden to pursue his interests. Seeing his dedication and determination at such a young age is truly inspiring."

The cherubic youngster, with a wide, mischievous grin, Wan Ayden chips in: "I want to be like my idol Riichi Takahira from Japan. Riichi was a pushbike rider. Today, he's a famous motorbike racer."

On Wan Ayden's Instagram account, there are numerous videos that show his skill, confidence not just in pushbiking but also in conversation: he isn't shy at all.

'I train very hard because I love the sport,' says Wan Ayden. 'I train very hard because I love the sport,' says Wan Ayden.His father, Datuk Seri Wan Mohd Muzri Ramli, 43, attributes this to his participation in pushbike competitions, which have provided him with the opportunity to interact and build friendships with peers both locally and internationally.

"In the last two years, we notice that he has become very confident and alert. Participating in pushbike sports has significantly improved his focus and self-assurance. Although he is only four, he can follow his coach's instructions and confidently adhere to the rules of pushbike sports."

Wan Mohd Muzri is the president of M8 CyclingClub, a club for pushbikes in the country. There are over 1,000 members in this club nationwide.

"The club was established in 2021 to introduce pushbiking as an enjoyable activity for children between the ages of two and nine. Today, pushbike has been added as one of the sporting activities under the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Wan Mohd Muzri added that M8 has opened a training center in Taman Eco Langat, Kajang, Selangor, featuring a large indoor court and gym where young pushbikers can train for competitions. There are about 10 coaches on hand to train riders.

Wan Ayden's journey in pushbike racing serves as an inspiration, highlighting the boundless potential of children. Photo: Instagram/Mata silumanWan Ayden's journey in pushbike racing serves as an inspiration, highlighting the boundless potential of children. Photo: Instagram/Mata siluman

So far, the club has organised many international pushbike competitions within the country, including M8 International Pushbike Championship 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Bike8 Cup International Championship 2022 in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan and M8 International Pushbike Championship Series 2023 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Earlier this month, the M8 Malaysia Pushbike International Championship 2024 was held at Talent Champs Sports Centre in Kajang, attracting over 200 contestants from across Malaysia, Japan, China and Thailand.

Wan Mohd Muzri thinks pushbikes make an excellent sports activity for children because it promotes physical fitness and stamina but also instills confidence and social skills in young riders.

"Pusbikes are fun and kids really enjoy it. The bicycles vary in price, from RM250 to RM5,000. Understanding that not every family can afford the more expensive models, our club is committed to supporting talented young riders through sponsorships. This way, more children who lack financial means can still pursue their passion and potential in pushbike racing.

"We also collaborate closely with national cyclists like Harrif Salleh and Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki for their guidance and expertise. Additionally, we also work with former national badminton champion Hafiz Hashim and ex-national footballer Fauzzi Kassim who share their insights on how we can enrich our programmes.

Family bonding

Beyond being a sport, Nur Syafira believes pushbiking has become a catalyst for bringing her family closer together.

Wan Ayden's (front left) family are his biggest supporters. Wan Ayden's (front left) family are his biggest supporters."Before our children started pushbiking, my husband was always caught up with work, even on weekends, frequently heading to the office. However, since our children got involved in pushbiking, I've witnessed significant changes. We now have the opportunity to spend time together during practices and competitions," she shares.

Before any competition, Wan Ayden's older siblings join him in his training at their home gym, usually after school.

"As he is just a small boy, his older siblings motivate and push him to train hard to maintain his fitness and stamina. I am happy that the kids get on well with each other.

"On some evenings, our coaches at the training centre assist him, where he typically trains with a few of his pushbike buddies," she said, adding that the entire family usually accompanies Wan Ayden on his pushbike competitions overseas.

Wan Ayden is one of Malaysia's youngest pushbike champions, with nearly 80 trophies to his name. Photo: Instagram/ Maleeq_dragsterWan Ayden is one of Malaysia's youngest pushbike champions, with nearly 80 trophies to his name. Photo: Instagram/ Maleeq_dragsterNur Syafira said Wan Ayden is usually too occupied with his pushbike activities to spend much time on gadgets.

"He's always on the move, barely finding a moment for gadgets. It's a win-win scenario; after his training sessions, Wan Ayden earns himself some screen time, typically about an hour, as a well-deserved reward."

She emphasises the importance of outdoor activities for children, stating it is important for kids to enjoy playful activities with their peers.

"Children are children, and it's crucial for them to have fun outdoors, playing games, and exploring. It's a fundamental part of their development and happiness."

Safety is important in pushbike competitions, and Wan Ayden's parents ensure that he wears all the necessary protective gear, including helmets, gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads.

Wan Ayden trains rigorously for upcoming pushbike competitions. Wan Ayden trains rigorously for upcoming pushbike competitions.Despite the occasional falls and injuries, Wan Ayden is still happy to jump on his little two-wheeler and push on.

"Sometimes it is painful when I fall off my bicycle. But I always try to give my best during competitions, for Daddy, Mummy and my supporters. Daddy says I should never give up because success takes time,"

I think pushbikes are fun and I thinks children should try it out. Keep on learning, if you fall, stand up and start again," says Wan Ayden.

As the young boy continues to pursue his passion for pushbiking, his journey serves as a reminder of the boundless potential that lies within every child, no matter their age.

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