Voices That Care
Say Hello to ... Amirul
Every single person in Care2Run’s ecosystem is essential, and we’ve grown so much in three years thanks to all the different individuals who’ve played a part in getting us to where we are.
It is for this reason that we aim to hand this section over to our people – our participants, coaches, volunteers, parents, friends and loved ones – so they can tell you what Care2Run means to them.
This week we say hello to ….. Muhammad Amirul Ilman Mansor, a Junior Coach who has been involved with Care2Run’s programmes since he was in primary school.
WHEN Muhammad Amirul speaks, it’s easy to forget that the young man is only 15. He’s charming, confident and witty, especially when you get him talking about his favourite subjects: nasyid music groups Raihan and Rabbani, dancing and yes, Care2Run.
Amirul, who graduated as a Junior Coach in 2018, has been involved in programmes with Care2Run since he was 11. So it’s no wonder then that he possesses a mature appreciation of the approaches, and how sports and mentoring impact the lives of differently-abled young people, himself included.
Amirul has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD and the teen is quick to credit Care2Run’s programmes, especially the Junior Leaders Programme (JLP), as having had a profound effect on his life – both at home and at school. It is for this reason that Amirul, who dreams of becoming a music entrepreneur, says he feels compelled to give back whenever and wherever he can.
“I think I’ve improved so much since I joined Care2Run and every time I come back to help, like at an event, I improve some more,” Amirul tells us. “Care2Run is like my home.
Mum Salasiah Shafii shares Amirul’s feelings about Care2Run adding, “My sons – Aidil and Amirul – enjoy Care2Run very much. We are like a family here and understand each other.”
Here’s Amirul to tell you more about his personal journey with Care2Run.
Hey there, Junior Coach! Could you tell us how you got involved with Care2Run?
I got involved with Care2Run in 2015 during a programme at Rimba Ilmu at Universiti Malaya. I really liked the activities. I remember there was a nature walk and we learnt about the environment. My mother is actually the one who introduced me to it. My brother was a participant during a Care2Run programme at SMK Kelana Jaya and that’s how my mum found out about Care2Run. After the programme at Universiti Malaya, I only got involved again in 2017, when I joined the Care2Run programme at SMK Kelana Jaya. Then later in 2018, I joined the first JLP.
How do you feel you benefitted from the JLP?
The JLP helped me become a junior coach and taught me how I can help other children with differences, to understand them and how to encourage them. For myself, I learnt how to control my emotions. I have ADHD and Asperger’s and I have to thank the coaches, especially Coach Prem, Coach Eric, Coach Greg and Coach Mee Leng, for showing me how to understand myself, and how to control my emotions and hyperactivity. When I was distracted, the coaches would teach me how to channel my emotions and hyperactive tendencies. I’ve also gained more courage and confidence and learnt about leadership. I worked best with Coach Mee Leng. I think she’s a super-duper coach and person. She was like a big sister to me, and I learnt a lot from her.
Now that you’re a Care2Run Junior Coach, how do you think you can help other young people with differences?
I think I can share my own experiences at JLP and because I’ve been through the programme myself, I think that can help build a relationship with new participants. I can also help them learn to channel their emotions because I have some experience with that.
Do you feel that your relationships with your family and friends have improved since being involved in the programmes?
I feel the relationship with my parents has definitely improved. With my siblings, well, we’re cool lah [laughs]. In school, I think I’m more focussed and I can adapt better.
Can you tell us a little about your fellow junior coaches and who you work well with?
The junior coaches I work very well with and whom I have become very close to are Junior Coaches Hakimi, Khang Zen and Max. We were all involved in the first programme, so we learnt together and have now become good friends.
What does Care2Run mean to you, Amirul?
For me, Care2Run, and especially the JLP, is not an exercise or sports programme, it’s a mentorship programme that teaches kids with differences to build confidence so that we can easily communicate and adapt with everyone else. Sometimes we have negative thoughts and worry about how we are going to do this or adapt to that after we finish school. To me, I think Care2Run is a Godsend for kids with differences. There’s a sports segment, a mentorship segment and other segments that help us improve ourselves overall.
What is your dream for Care2Run?
My dream is for Care2Run to grow and help as many children as possible. Maybe it’s a good idea to expand the Care2Run programme, like the one at SMK Kelana Jaya, to more schools. Expanding the programme to more schools means we can spread positivity to more people. That would be great!