What has latin dancing got to do with boxing? A lot, apparently. By Estelle Low
Nurshahidah Roslie is Singapore's first female professional boxer. Photos: Singaporemaven
ABOUT NURSHAHIDAH ROSLIE
Known in the boxing community as “The Sniper” for her precise and powerful punches, Nurshahidah is Singapore’s first female professional boxer. She has been boxing for 11 years.
What do you love most about boxing?
The technical aspect of the sport that requires me to keep improving, and the discipline that comes with making the sport a part of my life.
What's your workout routine like?
I run every day, except my rest day. I train two or three times a day for six days a week.
What's your secret to being a strong fighter?
It is no secret. All you need is passion, commitment and dedication. It’s the heart of the fighter that makes one a fighter.
What’s your diet like?
I love food. I eat whatever I want. I just try to make healthier choices, especially if I am training for my matches. A month before my weigh-in for a fight, I would start cutting down on carbohydrates.
What are your favourite indulgences?
My mother's nasi lemak, and my grandaunt's beef rendang. Shiok!
What goes through your mind when you face a tough opponent in the ring?
I tell myself to keep on going till the last bell rings, and think about what I have been training for the past few months. Also, I make a quick prayer to God to grant me strength to finish well.
What’s the worst injury you've suffered from boxing?
I broke my nose three weeks before my amateur boxing tournament. Thankfully, it healed pretty quickly, so I continued with my training and went ahead with the competition.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
For now, I would like to focus on one fight at a time. I aim to win all my future fights by training hard and smart. My long-term goal is to continue raising awareness of women boxing in Singapore.
What do you do in your free time?
At the moment, I’m learning Latin dance. I go for salsa as well as classes which consist of cha cha, rumba, samba, jive and paso doble. They’re so fun and unbelievably useful for my sport!
These dance lessons are like yoga to athletes. They help to improve flexibility in my hips, which is essential in boxing. They also increase body awareness and control, balance as well as coordination, by targeting fine muscles that aren’t activated during my boxing training.
What are the three most important things to you in life?
The happiness and safety of my loved ones, my happiness with the choices I make, and boxing.
Watch Nurshahidah fight in The Roar of Singapore, a championship boxing event held at the Singapore Foochow Association on February 17, Friday from 5pm to 11pm. The event will feature boxers from Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.