All sea and sunshine for birthday boy Nizam

National sailor Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy and his wife Nur Amirah Hamid with their baby boy Khairul Adam ready for Raya celebration in Langkawi

OLYMPIC sailor Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy is set for a gala time with his family for Hari Raya this year. He will be home with his family and will also be celebrating his birthday on Wednesday.

Nizam and his wife Nur Amirah Hamid take turns each year to visit their parents and this year they will be in Langkawi with their two-year-old baby Khairul Adam to celebrate with the Affendy clan, led by his father and coach Mohd Afendy Abdullah.

They will be joined by his sisters Khairunnisa, Khairunneeta, and Khairun Hanna who are all former national sailors as well.

The festivities started for the family two days earlier as they cleaned up the house and prepared the cooking ingredients for their signature Raya dishes – mutton rendang and “sup tulang” (bone broth).

“Rendang is a must for Raya in Malaysia but we use mutton instead of beef. We also have “sup tulang” on Raya eve. This is our tradition,” said Nizam, who will turn 27 on Wednesday.

“This year is my kampung’s turn for Hari Raya and we have been here since the MCO started. Usually, we would be on a short vacation for Raya as we would be training or competing abroad. This year, we have a longer break.”“Of course the festivities will be toned down as we won’t be able to host people,” said Nizam, who will be heading to the National Sailing Centre on the island from June 1 for centralised training.

Nizam and teammate Nur Shazrin Mohd Latif have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the laser standard and laser radial events. The others who qualified are Nuraisyah Jamil and Juni Karimah Noor Jamali in the women’s International 470 class.

Nizam has no problems going into the “quarantraining” for a month but was worried his toddler Adam would miss him.

However, his wife Nur Amirah, herself a former national sailor, would be able to handle the situation, he said.

“The national sailing centre is very near to our home in Langkawi, maybe if my son misses me my wife can bring him closer to the gates so he can see me inside the centre.”

“It will be tough to know that your family is nearby but you can’t see them,” he said, adding that he would have his father beside him as coach of the sailing team throughout the month.

“My wife is studying dentistry and taking care of our baby boy but she was a former national sailor so she understands what I go through,” he said.
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