KUALA LUMPUR: Wan Shiram Wan Ramly has written his name in the history books. His illustrious sports career broke new ground when he became the first Malay wushu coach in the country.
“I like to do different things and want to have my own identity. The opportunity given by the Selangor Wushu Federation for me to be a coach gives me room to produce more champions in the sport, without considering race or religion,” he said yesterday.
He added that the participation of Malays in wushu, which was dominated by the Chinese, was proof of the progress made by the sport in the country.
The 27-year-old Wan Shiram, who became a wushu coach at the Bangsar Sports Centre two months ago, now has 50 students between the ages of five and 48 under his tutelage.
Besides working as a full-time engineer, the Masters holder in Mechatronics from Universiti Technology Malaysia (UTM), also coaches wushu at SM Teknik Sri Gombak every Friday evening, and at a kindergarten on Wednesday nights.
Wan Shiram said that his interest in wushu started when he was a student at SM St Michael in Alor Star, which at that time was the only school in Kedah to offer the sport as a co-curricular activity.
“At that time not many were interested in wushu as the community felt it was associated with gangsterism,” he said.
In 1992, he won the bronze medal in the Kedah Open in the nanquan (southern style) event and later went on to capture two gold medals in the nanquan and gunshu (stick) events in the same championship in 1994.
He joined the national wushu squad in 1994 and two years later represented the country in the international arena.
In 1996, he was also chosen by the National Sports Council (NSC) together with two other national athletes, Oh Poh Soon and Leong Yan Kong, to attend a five-month training stint in Beijing.
Wan Shiram said that wushu was a special sport as it instilled a high sense of discipline and taught one to be patient and in control of emotions. – Bernama