KUALA LUMPUR: Nothing fazes Siti Rahmah Othman. Not even motherhood.
The 29-year-old returned to training with the national women’s hockey team last month – just eight months after giving birth to a baby boy last June.
The passion for hockey is just too great for her to ignore.
“Although I have an eight-month-old baby to care for, I just can not give up the sport ... I have been playing it since I was 10 years old,” said Siti, who has named her son Ariiq Rayqan.
Siti, who has represented Malaysia since 2004, believes that she still can contribute to the sport as “I am experienced and can play in midfield and the forward line”.
“I also have some unfinished business with the national team, having missed out on four major tournaments – the Myanmar SEA Games (in December 2013), World League Round One in Singapore (last June), Glasgow Commonwealth Games (last July) and the Incheon Asian Games (last September),” said Siti, who last featured for Malaysia in the Asia Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil in September 2013.
“I wouldn’t have made a comeback if not for my husband (Amir Shahreen Mubin) and my in-laws ... they’ve always supported me when it comes to playing hockey for the national team.
“I’ve been training for six weeks now and I’m confident I will get to feature in the World League Round Two in New Delhi from March 7-15,” added the Penangite, who has 70 international caps thus far.
Malaysia qualified for the Round Two in New Delhi after emerging as champions in Round One in Singapore last year.
For Round Two, world No. 21 Malaysia are the second highest ranked team after world No. 13 India.
Malaysia are in Group B with Russia, Singapore and Kazakhstan. Group A comprises India Poland, Ghana and Thailand.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have set a top-two target for the women’s team in New Delhi in a bid to qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and Argentina in June.
National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said that Siti had been training hard and that her services are needed in the absence of skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman, who is expecting her first child.
“Siti’s presence will further boost our chances of finishing among top two in New Delhi,” he said.
There are 30 players in the training squad and the final 18 will be named next week.
The national team will leave for New Delhi on March 3 and play a friendly against India on March 5. They will open their campaign against Kazakhstan on March 7.