Little Putri has big dreams for herself and eight siblings

KUALA LUMPUR: Putri Nur Batrisya Nor Nawawi (pic) is a pint-sized hockey player with big dreams.

The Penang-born defender is only 154cm tall and weighs 54kg.

Putri, who is the eldest among nine siblings, wants to be a role model to her three brothers and five sisters by becoming the country’s top hockey player.

And she hopes to do that by following in the footsteps of her idol and former national skipper Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani, who was the pillar of the national women’s team.

Siti, the 33-year-old defender also hails from Penang and was Malaysia’s penalty corner specialist and had represented the country for 14 years before retiring in March.

“Siti was very influential in the national team. She has the height and good tackling skills. She also was superb with her direct hits during penalty corners.

“She is my inspiration and I am lucky to have played with her in the Razak Cup in 2018. Thanks to her guidance, I scored four goals to help Penang finish third.”

Putri, who will be 20 on Aug 1, said that although she might be small, she fears no one on the pitch.

“I have proven that size does not matter as I can hold my own in defence. I’m able to tackle players who are bigger than me.

“I think I’ve proven my worth as I was named the best player in the Under-18 National Schools Sports Council (MSSM) tournament in Kuantan in 2017.

“It was the turning point in my career as it made me train harder to get into the national team. A year later, I turned out for the country in the Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in Bangkok and we did well to finish third among nine teams, ” added Putri, who took up the sport when she was eight.

“I really hope my achievements will lead to my siblings taking up sports and represent Malaysia like I did, ” said Putri, who was called up for the national junior training in March.

She received the call-up after helping PKS-Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) win the overall title in the National Women’s League in January.

Putri said that she is confident that she would make the cut for the Junior Asia Cup, which was supposed to be held in Kakamigahara, Japan in April but have been shelved due to Covid-19.

The meet is the qualifying tournament for next year’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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