Scholarship a huge lift for wrestler Firdhaus
He lives in a one-room flat with his mother and younger sister and works as a waiter on weekends to help supplement the family income.
Despite having to juggle school and work, Muhammad Firdhaus Alam Shah Ng Ming Ming, 22, didn't let his passion for wrestling fade away.
Yesterday, the national wrestler received a much-needed boost.
The diploma holder in customer relationship and service management was awarded a $3,000 scholarship under the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship.
Said Firdhaus: "I try to help out with the bills at home, my sister works as well, but I still have to pitch in.
"My mum fell at work and suffered a slipped disc last year so she had to temporarily stop working, and balancing school, work and wrestling was my life for a while."
Firdhaus managed to retain his spot in the national team this year, and is training to be part of the 2019 South-east Asia Games team. This year's Games do not include wrestling.
During the lead-up to this year's national qualifiers, he suffered severe bruises to his foot, which made even walking difficult.
But, his determination saw him pull through.
The scholarship comes as a huge lift for him because it will help him cover his training expenses, allowing him to set aside income from his part-time job for his family.
Said Firdhaus: "The scholarship is a big help, but it doesn't give me any avenue to slack or any short-cut to get to where I want to be as a wrestler.
"It will help with paying to renew my wrestling licence, and provide me with extra expenses for food and my well-being when I travel overseas for competitions."
The SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship aims to help promising young athletes to achieve their goals in sports excellence and support outstanding ones from financially challenged backgrounds. - SWETHA SUNDARARAJAN