9YO Malaysian girl has a passion for riding dirt bikes


‘I’ll keep giving it my all and never give up,’ says Sophie. Photo: Fadzil Ahmad Photography

Sophie Arissa Mohamad Naim was only two when she started riding push bikes. Now, seven years later, she has transitioned to riding dirt bikes across various tracks nationwide, showcasing her skills in competitions.

“If boys can ride kids’ dirt bikes, why can’t I? It makes me happy to race in dirt bike competitions. I wish more girls would join in learning to ride dirt bikes because it’s so much fun,” says Sophie.

Fondly known as Jelita (pretty) among her family and the dirt bike community, Sophie is among the growing number of young girls proving they have what it takes to excel in traditionally male-dominated sports.

'I wish more girls would join in learning to ride dirt bikes because it's so much fun,' says Sophie. Photos: Nur'Ain Azrina Alias'I wish more girls would join in learning to ride dirt bikes because it's so much fun,' says Sophie. Photos: Nur'Ain Azrina Alias

The student from SJKC Naam Kheung in Cheras, KL, demonstrates not just skill on the motorcross track but also a keen determination and mature outlook on life even at nine years.

“Sometimes I don’t win, but that’s okay. I always try my hardest in every race,” she says, with the wisdom of a safe. “The big secret is to keep going, even when it’s tough. Winning isn’t everything. What really matters is how much effort you put in. I’ll keep giving it my all and never give up.

“Even if I fall seven times, I’ll get right back up. Who knows? Maybe I’ll win on the eighth race... that would be a bonus,” says Sophie, who was named Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka’s Student Icon 2024 in January.

Her mother, bank manager Nur’Ain Azrina Alias, 39, is Sophie’s biggest fan.

She wants her only daughter to compete alongside boys as she believe it will help the young lass gain confidence and learn resilience, essential qualities for success both on and off the field.

Sophie (second from left) with family members, Mohamad Naim Isa (left), Mohamad Naail  Emir (second from right) and Nur’Ain (right).Sophie (second from left) with family members, Mohamad Naim Isa (left), Mohamad Naail Emir (second from right) and Nur’Ain (right).

Nur’Ain estimates that there are about 20 girl dirt bike enthusiasts in the Klang Valley.

“I often remind Sophie that we are all equal. I come from a background where women, like my mother and grandmother, have worked hard and are independent. I want Sophie to follow in their footsteps and grow up to be confident and motivated,” says the mother of three.

Hitting whoops like a pro

Sophie has participated in 120 pushbike competitions since she was two; she picked up dirt bikes (50cc) at five, participating in about 20 competitions to date. She races with the number 38 on her dirt bike plate.

According to Nur’Ain, Sophie learned to ride dirt bikes during the pandemic.

Sophie challenges and embraces success on her journey as a young dirt bike enthusiast.Sophie challenges and embraces success on her journey as a young dirt bike enthusiast.

“Sophie had to stop riding pushbikes due to the movement control order during Covid-19. During that time, her father discovered a motocross track at Kampung Sg Penchala in KL. When he took Sophie there, she was able to ride a kids dirt bike exceptionally well.”

Mastering throttle control, gear shifting, and clutch management on a petrol or diesel-powered bike, such as a kids’ dirt bike, requires dedicated practice. Amazingly, Sophie managed to grasp these skills effortlessly, says Nur’Ain.

Sophie is a member of Kelab Motocross Bukit Kapar in Kapar, Selangor.

During weekends, the little girl undergoes training sessions with professional motocross rider Khairul Afif at various motocross circuits across the Klang Valley, such as Ijok, Damansara, and Rawang.

“My coach teaches me how to take jumps, control speed and take corners. I have fallen many times and I have cried many times as it hurts. To stay safe, I wear safety gear like padding, body armour, helmet and neck protector,” says Sophie.

While Sophie shines as a champion on the dirt track, she’s still a child who feels the sting of failure.

'Winning isn't everything. What really matters is how much effort you put in,' says Sophie.'Winning isn't everything. What really matters is how much effort you put in,' says Sophie.

“There are times when I cry if I don’t make it to the top three. Thankfully, my parents are there to comfort me.

“They remind me that it’s alright to cry, but then encourage me to lift my chin up and come back even stronger,” says Sophie, who posts race photos and videos on her Instagram account.

Nur’Ain has observed a positive transformation in her eldest child since she started riding dirt bikes.

“She’s become more confident and focused. Even in the classroom, she eagerly volunteers to participate in class discussions, and she’s become more outgoing and sociable. Plus, she’s proven to be a quick learner.”

For Sophie, it’s about enjoying the journey from start to finish.

“Keep up the interest and work hard.

“Most importantly, don’t give up quickly. Just enjoy the ride.”


Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Dirt bike , Empowerment

   

Next In Family

Malaysian single dad of a pre-teen daughter shares his fatherhood journey
Starchild: Why Malaysian kids think their dads are cool
Malaysian youth becomes cabinet maker, just like dad
Study: Tiktok can help tackle obesity among teens
Heart and Soul: Celebrating modern fatherhood – A tribute to the new breed of dads
Money mindset begins in childhood, but you can acquire a positive one as adult
Why the best gift for a new mum is effective support and help around the house
Hairballs can kill, so keep an eye out for anything unusual with your cat
Katz Tales: Furry feline fluff
Starchild: Why Malaysian kids think Sang Kancil is a smart animal

Others Also Read