Nicol David Leads The Way 

Move well. Eat well. Rest well. That’s how Nicol David leads her life.

The focus is almost always on illnesses and the loss of lives when it comes to insurance, but this is not the case for AIA.

As a prominent insurance and takaful brand, AIA has always strived to go beyond the role of a traditional insurer by putting people first – with its initiatives, products and policies that not only protect but also help Malaysians live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.

“Our journey in health advocacy started in 2016 when we introduced the first in market AIA Vitality, a unique and comprehensive health programme that actively engaged and incentivised members to make long-term positive behavioural changes in their lives, ” said AIA Bhd chief marketing officer Heng Zee Wang.

“This marked our evolving role, moving away from the notion of a traditional insurance company that was only there for our customers during the bad times or ‘just in case’.

“Instead, we see ourselves as an active partner in our customer’s journey, through our various programmes and initiatives that focus on empowering a healthier, longer and better life.”

With the current Covid-19 pandemic, AIA’s commitment to health is even more important now than ever before.

In a recent report by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, more than 80% of Covid-19 fatalities involved patients suffering from non-communicable diseases.

This indicates that the less healthy the population, the more likely the pandemic is to have fatal consequences.

Squash legend as ambassador

To further empower and motivate Malaysians to take better care of their physical, mental and financial health, AIA Malaysia has teamed up with squash legend Datuk Nicol David as the insurer advances its mission to empower Malaysians to take charge and adopt healthy habits that will help them live a better lifestyle.

“While we can see that Malaysians have placed a renewed importance on health, we too know for a fact that people continue to suffer from various health issues, which has always been a prevailing concern, ” said Heng.

“As a brand, AIA Malaysia has become synonymous with the advocacy of a healthier and active lifestyle and we believe that Nicol is a perfect fit for us as someone who embodies the same values and has the ability to rally Malaysians of all ages and from all walks of life.

Nicol and Heng taking one for the album pre-pandemic. Nicol is a perfect fit for AIA as someone who embodies the same values and has the ability to rally Malaysians of all ages and from all walks of life, said Heng.Nicol and Heng taking one for the album pre-pandemic. Nicol is a perfect fit for AIA as someone who embodies the same values and has the ability to rally Malaysians of all ages and from all walks of life, said Heng.

“With a successful squash career spanning 19 years, Nicol has become a household name and as Malaysians, we’ve followed her through her journey and achievements in sports. It’s inspiring to see her continuing to be a strong advocate for a healthy lifestyle and she remains an important role model to Malaysians even after her retirement last year.

“I believe that together with Nicol’s support and positive influence, AIA is able to further drive its purpose through new and creative initiatives that have the ability to mobilise Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle, ” he said.

Since Nicol’s appointment as AIA Malaysia’s ambassador in July, she has been inspiring Malaysians through the sharing of her knowledge and experience across all aspects of health via various initiatives including AIA Live, a regional online health and wellness event held virtually; and AIA Live with Nicol David, a five-part video series that follows Nicol’s health journey as she tries new activities and steps out of her comfort zone among others. The video series reached close to 11 million views.

“Since joining the AIA family, I have tried so many new things that I have never done before!” said Nicol.

“It was such a fun experience for me, especially in the recent video series where I challenged myself and the AIA community to try new ways to stay active, eat healthier and feel good mentally.

“Some of these challenges were out of my comfort zone, especially the cooking challenge, but after completing these challenges, I was proud of myself and I gained even more confidence to cook healthier food at home. Even my mum was impressed by my dishes!” she shared.

Another memorable experience for Nicol was when AIA Live, a regional event organised by AIA Group, brought together AIA’s family of ambassadors such as football icon David Beckham and other notable figures in various fields from across the world.

“It was like a full day virtual health retreat of just immersing oneself in learning more about nutrition, diet, and mental health.

“I was honoured to get the chance to exchange experiences with Steve Hooker, former Olympic pole vault gold medallist from Australia, and also had the opportunity to share tips on developing your mental resilience like a professional athlete.

“That was an unforgettable event to me because it had brought together so many Malaysians and people all around the world during a challenging time to shed light on the importance of health, ” added Nicol.

Other than being the face of AIA, Nicol will also be playing a significant role in championing AIA Vitality, a unique behavioural change programme whereby members will be rewarded with meaningful privileges just by staying healthy.

“I’ve just started on my AIA Vitality journey and I’m already clocking in points and advancing my AIA Vitality status, ” she said.

“I’ve also been taking various online health assessments available on the programme to collect more points and I was pleasantly surprised that by just declaring that I was a non-smoker, I could collect 1,000 points, so I’m definitely looking forward to completing more assessments and challenges.

After the AIA Live cooking challenge, Nicol gained the confidence to whip up healthy meals at home.After the AIA Live cooking challenge, Nicol gained the confidence to whip up healthy meals at home.

“So far, AIA Vitality has been a very refreshing take on committing to your health and fitness goals, especially since I was used to a stricter routine when I was still competing. I truly think AIA customers will be able to benefit a lot from AIA Vitality by incorporating the programme into their health journey.”

Meanwhile, people can look forward to a lineup of new initiatives including an upcoming series of articles on AIA’s website’s What Matters section, where Nicol will be sharing her past experiences and knowledge to contribute tips on healthy living.

Holistic health

Nicol believes that a holistic health is not just about physical health but also mental and financial health.

“Having dedicated much of my life to professional squash, working towards physical and mental peak performance has always been my priority.

“With health and fitness being such a big part of my life, I have felt the first-hand benefits of living an active and mindful lifestyle and how it leads to a healthier, longer and better life.

“I was introduced to an active lifestyle through sports when I was young, and I believe that this early exposure helps to build good virtues and discipline, instilling good habits from a young age that can be brought forward to when we become adults. Sports can inspire people to understand their capabilities and self-worth so that they will not only look and feel healthier but also gain newfound confidence.

“I believe that when we are healthy, we can be present in the moment, be more mindful of the people and events around us and live our lives to the fullest. This is what I want to share with fellow Malaysians as well, ” said Nicol.

Even before becoming AIA Malaysia’s ambassador, Nicol has enjoyed working with AIA on several past campaigns in which she sees AIA and herself sharing the same vision for a healthier and better Malaysia.

“I felt grateful when the opportunity came to become AIA Malaysia’s ambassador. It was a good step forward which allows me to continue driving this shared vision, as well as an opportunity to share my story from what I’ve learnt from squash and give back to the community around us.

“I’ve been enjoying the process of developing some really great ideas together with the AIA team and we are so excited to see them come to fruition. I can’t wait to lend my support to these initiatives, be it virtually or in person, when the situation allows it.

“Through this ambassadorship with AIA Malaysia, I hope to be able to shed light on the importance of all aspects of health, because our mental health should just be as aspirational as our physical health, especially in this current situation.

Despite her retirement from professional squash, Nicol still follows a daily fitness regimen.Despite her retirement from professional squash, Nicol still follows a daily fitness regimen.

“As I go through my own health journey after retirement with AIA as a platform, I hope I will be able to encourage others to do the same and adopt healthy habits, ” said Nicol.

Educating good health and wellbeing

As an insurer, AIA’s focus will always remain on addressing the health and wealth protection needs of Malaysians while maintaining its purpose to help them live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.

“Since her appointment, Nicol has without a doubt been instrumental in driving our purpose and at the same time, made a big impact among Malaysians through the sharing of her knowledge and experience across all aspects of health, ” said Heng.

“Together, we have seen the positive influence that she has been to her followers, and to our customers, AIA Vitality members and the general public as well, as an extension of our partnership.

“It is through these initiatives that makes a big difference in the way we empower Malaysians to prioritise their health and wellbeing and Nicol’s contribution plays a big part in accomplishing that.

“All our engagements with Nicol have been received very positively, and we are happy to see many Malaysians enjoying the various content that we’ve been producing and seeing Nicol in a different light.

“Through Nicol’s contribution as an ambassador, we aim to reach out to even more Malaysians and educate them on the importance of their health and wellbeing – ultimately helping to inspire a healthier nation that will lead to a better quality of life for all, ” concluded Heng.

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