Md Hafiy encourages people with disabilities to pursue interest in combat sports

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

LOCAL boxer Md Hafiy bin Haji Abdul Mutalip has encouraged persons with disabilities to pursue their interest of making an impression in combat sports following a success in a recent overseas competition.

The 29-year-old called for persons with disabilities’ to step up their confidence if they develop an interest in learning any forms of mixed martial arts, adding that their disabilities should not be considered an obstacle for success.

Md Hafiy recently won a trophy in the under-56kg division special category of the Borneo Martial Arts Expo 2018 at the Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Labuan.

Md Hafiy, a special needs’ athlete, hoped that his win could serve as inspiration to the persons with disabilities’ community and provided exposure to those who are keen to make the grade in the sport.

“This is the first time I participated in the tournament. I did not expect to win and this victory also helped create history for Brunei. It is rare for persons with disabilities in Brunei and I want to motivate them,” said Md Hafiy in an interview with the Bulletin.

Md Hafiy poses with his trophy alongside his coaches. – FADHIL YUNUS

“It does not mean that just because they have disabilities they could not do it. I want to help open the eyes for the people of Brunei and inspire them that they could pursue their goals.

“I hope that this win could provide opportunities for them to show more courage in what they could do especially if they have the heart and spirit to learn mixed martial arts.

“Being someone with disabilities should not be seen as an obstacle for success. Learning mixed martial arts should not only be limited to able-bodied people,” said Md Hafiy who suggested setting up an environment which enables people with disabilities to perform in a local competition.

He shared that people who are mute and deaf can learn boxing and kickboxing in Malaysia while in contrast there is limited exposure in Brunei.

Md Hafiy, who is trained under 018 MMA Gym, said that persons with disabilities should not be low in confidence and think positive adding that it is important for them to follow their interest regardless of other people’s views.

The local boxer received an invitation to take part in the competition from Coach Alvin Cheong, a Malaysian coach based in the Borneo Combat Gym.

His triumph in Labuan highlighted proof that persons with disabilities’ can master the sport of mixed martial arts and compete in both the local and regional arenas.