Name: Muhammad Shafiq Bin Abdul Rashid
Sport: Indoor Hockey
With his last SEA Games appearance back in 2013 for the outfield men’s team, 24-year-old Shafiq is poised to make a triumphant return to this year’s games, albeit in a different discipline – indoor hockey. Originally a softball player in Orchid Park Secondary School, he waseventually convinced by his peers to switch to Hockey instead. The rest, as they say, is history.
Playing hockey with his friends in school provided young Shafiq something to focus on and allowed him keep out of trouble. Shafiq explained that like any teenager, the susceptibility to bad influences is a real danger. However, the team element of hockey made him more responsible in his training attendance and discipline, which helped keep him off the streets. He is grateful to the sport as it allowed him to transfer the values and positive outlook he learnt to his personal life as well. “Always go the extra mile to succeed. It’s never a waste to feel the struggle early. That’s how one can apply the same attitude in the future by working hard for the opportunities that come by,” Shafiq related when asked to elaborate.
A regular participant in the Singapore Indoor Hockey Challenge (SIHC), Shafiq briefly explained to us what made him comeback for the annual tournament. “It’s great playing alongside my old teammates against stronger teams. It’s also fun and challenging with the limited skills allowed only,” said the captain of the indoor men’s team.
In preparation for the 2017 SEA Games, the indoor men’s team had friendlies with several tough teams in Malaysia. “There were instances where we thought we couldn’t keep up with them. The Malaysian teams really gave us a hard time.” The friendlies, however, were recorded. This gave the team opportunity to dissect their performance afterwards and gain perspective on why their systems were not working against the Malaysian teams. Shafiq is hopeful that with the external feedback provided to correct their mistakes, they will go into the tournament much better prepared.
The friendlies were also golden opportunities for the indoor hockey teams in Singapore because it gave them an idea of where they stood in terms of fitness, skill & preparation. This is especially important since indoor hockey is making its debut in this year’s SEA Games. Hence, the competitiveness of the participating countries remains unclear.
Speaking further on our team’s preparations, “I feel that the quality of play requires frequent interchanging of positions and the need to be versatile. With all this being said, I feel we’ve got a solid approach towards the games,” added Shafiq.
Show your support for midfielder, Shafiq, donning the Singapore Flag in his number 11 jersey this coming SEA Games! The opening game for the indoor men’s team will be on Monday, 21st August 2017, against Thailand.
You can also catch Shafiq in action in the National Hockey League division 1 for Eagles-Project Vaults!