Alia feeling left out as range reopens


Staying sharp: Alia Sazana Azahari is relying on a one-kg dumbbell and her stance to practise her shooting and technique.

PETALING JAYA: The shooting range at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil will be open in June but national shooter Alia Sazana Azahari will not be allowed in. The range will only be open to Paralympians and Alia can’t help but feel envious.

After being away from the range for more than two months, many shooters were hopeful the range would be open for all but Alia understands that priority has to be given to those who have qualified for the Olympics.

From June 1 onwards, a total of 57 athletes will be able to restart their preparations for next year’s Olympic Games and Paralympics in Tokyo, at three different locations – Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara and National Sailing Centre in Langkawi.

“Of course, we would like to be part of the action because we have been stuck at home for two months. We do hope the range will be open for us soon, ” said Alia.

“However, I do understand the safety measures and the procedures done by sporting bodies. We cannot have everyone there because social distancing is needed.”

For now, Alia is relying on a one-kg dumbbell and her stance to practise her shooting and technique.

“Our coaches have online meetings and sessions, but as shooters, we do our workouts to keep our shooting style intact. Once everything resumes, we need to ensure we don’t lose our touch in the range.

“I do miss competitions but right now my worry is my family and our safety, ” said Alia, who is continuing to do her bit for society through her restaurant Sasa Vietnamese Coffee House in her hometown of Kuala Terengganu.

At first, she was providing meals for the frontliners in the state, but now she is also giving meals to the needy.

“We have provided over 500 meals since the MCO started. The restaurant is keeping me very busy, and that is good.

“I do hope that everything will go back to normal, but we all know there are going to be a lot of changes because of the pandemic. We have to adapt but it is for our own good.”

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