PETALING JAYA: Figure skater Julian Yee Zhi-Jie is not taking his passion for the sport lightly.
Ice-skating is an expensive sport and he needs a lot of money if he wants to win international championships.
Yee, 19, has been skating since he was four and his family has been funding his training. He is aware that figure skating is an expensive sport because it is exclusive.
“I’m glad with what I have achieved this far, but I don’t want to stop here. To do so, I will need more funds to support my efforts,” he said in an interview.
The sole Malaysian representative had recorded his personal best in Free Skate at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships in Boston, United States, recently.
On how much his family had forked out to finance his passion, his mother Irene Cheow, 55, was unable to provide the figures.
“I have not counted and I dare not count. My son’s hobby has grown this far and our financial resources cannot keep up anymore,” she said, adding that a training session at the ice-skating rink alone costs RM30.
“Julian trains at the rink four times a week throughout the year. You do the math,” she said, adding that the payment also does not include her son’s coaching fees.
Yee is now being trained by Canada-based Michael Hopfes, who has participated in several championships worldwide.
“This sport call for individual training. Each skater is different in the way they perform,” he said, adding that the training fees would also be expensive.
Yee agreed that figure-skating had not gained the attention of many Malaysians.
“A lot of the people here wouldn’t know of this sport or not too well-versed about it,” he added.
Yee is hoping to raise RM250,000 to fund his training and competition expenses. Those who are interested to help can contact Cheow at 016-9006363 or e-mail email@example.com.