Today, Singaporean boccia competitor Nurul Binte Mohammad Taha is celebrating one year of having her sister be her assistant in boccia.
On Facebook, Taha said of this anniversary, “It’s been exactly a year since my sister became my regular sports assistant. She currently holds the record for the most number of tours as my sports assistant! I guess when you’re family, you learn to tough it out… and put up with your older sister. Haha! I think the past year has been an adventure for her – moving her family back to Singapore and having to part with her baby on some trips. I know she has made many sacrifices to support me on my dream of #rollingtorio2016 and I know I don’t say it often enough – Thank you and I love you!”
Taha is a professional boccia player and is currently the top ranked BC3 woman in the BISFED BC3 individual rankings where she is ranked tenth overall in her class. Next Monday, she departs for Beijing and the last boccia qualifying event for the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
The Muslim Singaporean competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the individual BC3 event, where she finished seventh overall. Only two women finished higher than her in the mixed gender competition, Belgium’s Kirsten De Laender who finished sixth and South Korea’s Ye Jin Choi who took home gold. In 2010, in the lead up to the World Championships, she spent four to eleven hours a day in training, at an event that was her first outside the Asia-Oceania region. She worked to customize her ramp to improve her shot performance, and has been continuing to work with Nanyang Polytechnic in 2015 to do more improvements.
Taha, who has cerebral palsy, is very engaged behind the scenes with her sport in Singapore. She attended at a Boccia Introductory Workshop at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore Multi-purpose Hall in March of last year. She was the Master of Ceremonies for the 2015 Asean Para Games ceremony where the sporting program was announced, and has been active in trying to encourage people to volunteer for the Games. She has spoken before the National Youth Council in Singapore. She spoke at the National Secondary School Student Leaders Conference 2015. As an advocate for her sport, she has been quoted as saying, “We participate in sports for the same motivations as able-bodied athletes to bring glory to the country. We compete because it’s fun and exciting, and because it’s a way to entertain spectators.”