Voices That Care
Say Hello to ... Sazura
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 ….. Sazura Sarif, a participant who succeeded in realising one of her dreams through Care2Run.
SAZURA used to love physical activity. As a matter of fact, she tells us that when she was younger, she’d spend hours upon hours walking, both for exercise and pleasure. She was also quick to jump at any opportunity to test her endurance. Unfortunately, just as Sazura was looking to explore and participate in tougher and more competitive activities, tragedy struck in the form of a motor accident.
“In 2006, I was involved in an accident which resulted in multiple operations and my left leg being slightly shorter than my right leg. It was really disappointing for me because I’d always been an active person. But after the accident, there were so many things I couldn’t do. Worst of all, I realised that it would be very difficult for me to fulfil my dream of taking part in a run,” Sazura tells us.
However, just as she’d given up hope of participating in a run, she chanced upon the Bursa Bull Charge, which for the first time last year – due to a unique partnership between Yayasan Bursa and Care2Run – opened its doors to differently-abled runners.
Sazura shares that she wasn’t sure she was ready for the demands of a run in the middle of the city. Nevertheless, the thought of actually being able to fulfil her dream was intriguing. Here she is with the rest of her story …
Hi, Sazura. Can you share with us a little about yourself?
Hello. I hail from Kuantan and I work with KOMITED Malaysia, a non-profit community-based organisation that conducts intervention programmes for drug users and those with HIV/Aids. I’m currently the programme manager of the women’s rehab shelter home in Kuantan. I joined as a volunteer in 2006. But I enjoyed the work I was doing so I stuck with the organisation. Sometime in 2006 also, I met with a road accident. I underwent five operations between 2006 and 2010 and the result is that of my legs is shorter than the other. I find it difficult, even now, to walk on surfaces that aren’t totally flat.
You joined us last year just before Bursa Bull Charge 2018 (BBC 2018). How did you come to know about us?
Actually, I didn’t know very much about Care2Run until BBC 2018. Before my accident in 2006, I loved to walk. I used to even hike. At the time, I felt that one day, I’d like to take part in a run. However, after the accident, it was just not possible. Most runs are at least 3km and I had no idea whether I could actually run that distance. Then last year, while I was preparing the paperwork for a grant submission to Yayasan Bursa, I realised that the organisers had opened up a category for para runners. I was apprehensive at first. But then I saw that it was only 1.5km, and I thought: why not give it a try. It was then also that I realised I’d actually met Prem and Mee Leng in 2017 when both Care2run and KOMITED Malaysia received grants from Yayasan Bursa. So joining Care2Run also allowed me to reconnect with them.
What were your impressions of Care2Run when you joined us for the BBC 2018 practice sessions?
At first, I was taken aback. I was under the impression that Care2Run was only a platform to assist persons with physical differences like me. But then I saw that there were also youths with Down syndrome, autism and such. What really surprised me, however, was seeing how motivated these kids were to take part in the activities and to run. I noticed that a few of the mentors faced challenges in trying to coach these youths, but they persevered anyway. That was amazing to see. I loved watching how the mentors interacted with the participants, and how the mentees pushed themselves to do better.
What are your thoughts on Care2Run now that you’ve seen and experienced what we do?
I feel that it’s an amazing initiative because not only does it provide a platform for differently-abled youths to improve physically, it also allows them to gain confidence. In addition to that, Care2Run provides them with a space to interact with other youths with similar challenges. I also believe that the motivation aspect is two-fold for persons with differences and those without, because it allows people without differences to reassess themselves.
Did you enjoy the run itself on Sept 27, 2018?
Yes, I did enjoy it. Of course, I would have enjoyed it better if not for the heavy rain. But that’s fine. It was still a really positive experience. I loved the interaction with my run buddy from Bursa, Kak Ros. She was really helpful and supportive and I still keep in touch with her. That first event was to see whether I was capable of taking part in a run and I realise now that I am capable. So I definitely want to take part in other similar events.
What are your aspirations for Care2Run, Sazura?
I hope that Care2Run can grow and set up chapters in other states. I think there are so many children and youths that could benefit from a programme like this. Currently, there are many programmes in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor for persons with differences. However, there are much fewer options outside the Klang Valley. So there is definitely a need. And on a personal level, I hope Care2Run can open a chapter in Kuantan, so I can be a part of it.