Women involvement in extreme sports

Women involvement in extreme sports
Atiqah team, the Brunei-team

Atiqah team, the Brunei-team

Extreme sports are usually regarded as dangerous and carry a high-risk which can lead to accident or even death. All over the world, extreme sports are usually dominated by males. This year, at Padawan International 4X4 Off Roaders Extreme Challenge, held in Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Padawan, Sarawak, two women joined the games, making the difference and creating a precedent.

The two extraordinary women present were Dayangku Majalifah Awang Mustafa, a Sarawakian, and Atiqah Abdullah from Brunei Darussalam; these two ‘heroes’ managed to indirectly breaking old traditions and mindset.

Driver Dayang Majalifah started participating in the games 5 years ago; with the security of her golden age of 52, she openly thinks that gender should not be an issue at all: “Don’t always think this is for man only, we ladies can do too”, she stated.

Next woman in extreme sports. lol.

Next woman in extreme sports. lol.

Through my conversation with her, I found out she is an amazing and extreme lady, who cannot be separated from extreme sports, to the point that she has created her own trademark name: Ironlady.

Dayangku, the youngest among three siblings, has ‘conquered’ Borneo by traveling solo across the island from Sarawak to Brunei, Sabah and West Kalimantan. She told me that her most vivid memory is of when she went to Long Lelang in Miri, a place considered as a dead end for the local people.

“We traveled along a dead road that nobody dares to travel through, the trip to reach the camp site lasted from 6.45 am to 11.45pm. It was very tough” said Dayangku.

This active lady, who is also a grandmother, believes that people, especially women, should never underestimate their skills and capabilities. Stating so, she is ready to give her full support to the cause and hopes the gender matter in extreme sports won’t be questioned in the future.

Having a wet time...

Having a wet time…

Meanwhile, 28 years old Atiqah from Brunei Darussalam says that it was an active influence by friend and a deep interest towards Land Rovers that shaped her life of today. She has been involved in this kind of games since 2008:

“Initially, I started this as a hobby as I like Land Rovers. Then this hobby became more serious, the feeling got deeper, and eventually I got into all kind of competitions, which get more extreme year after year. And here I am!”

It is her great passion in these sports that makes her willingly sacrifice her money and travel miles and miles away from her home to participate in international events. The trip to Kuching alone was a one-day one-night journey!

Atiqah admits this year’s games were tougher than previous editions, as the soil was very wet and slippery. “The target for these kinds of events is to play the games in a fair way, emphasizing on safety. Rules must be observed closely in order to avoid being penalized”.

Atiqah

Atiqah at the wheel

Last December, Atiqah became the champion at the Rainforest Challenge in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. It is unbelievable that someone of such a small size like Atiqah can win such tough and extreme games that need extreme preparation and concentration. You won’t believe me if I told you that she drives like a man…

At Padawan International 4X4 Off Roaders Extreme Challenge I learned a lot about females involved in extreme sports. These ladies surely have a strong spirit and their energy incite all daring women. The message is: Don’t be scared to participate in such games if you feel like it, or if you have an interest in the discipline.

Local team of Dayangku

Local team of Dayangku

Dayangku and Atiqah have some advice for women out there: Go and grab your dream, crash any obstacle in front of you before you go ahead, prepare your body and your budget. Physical preparation is important but financial planning too, since these games will definitely cost you thousands.

Padawan International 4×4 Off-Roaders Extreme Challenge

May 22, 2015 – May 24, 2015

Sixty teams including those from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and the Royal Brunei 4X4 team participated in the Padawan International 4X4 Off-Roaders Extreme Challenge 2015.

The event was held at a temporary track at the Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS), Borneo Highlands Road, about 45 kilometres from Kuching.

Some of the activities included river wading, winching, hill climbing, mud slide driving, downhill maneuvering and rock climbing as well as testing the true skills of driving. See more on http://sarawaktourism.com/event/padawan-international-4×4-off-roaders-extreme-challenge/

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About the author

Cato is a young woman from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Cato gained a Bachelor Degree with honours in Social Science majoring in Communication Studies at the University Malaysia Sarawak - UNIMAS. After a long spell as a full-time reporter writing for TV and Radio news in Borneo and beyond, she is currently a Special Officer in the public relations field. She is also a regular and passionate contributor at Asian Itinerary. Cato is a dynamic woman with several interests and hobbies like travelling, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, kayaking and surfing the Internet. She is a young promise in the travel-writing world, and one of the main exponents of Asian Itinerary.

View all articles by Catohrinner Joyce Guri