Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee




Saiyidah is a professional athlete from Singapore in the sport of Rowing. In 2013, She took the risk of losing her job to train full-time. She went over to train in Sydney where the training environment is more conducive for high performance rowers. She used her savings to support herself in Sydney.

“The whole experience was worth it because I became Singapore’s first individual Gold medalist in the South-East Asian Games in 2013.”

Now, Saiyidah is embarking on the journey to become Singapore‘s first rower to qualify for the Olympics. The journey has been long and arduous since she won 2 years ago with events that hinder her performance like injuries, having self-doubt and all the other distractions in life.

“I am not going to let anything get in the way between me and my dreams.”

Rowing through a hopeful journey with Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee #isharehope Episode 73

Summary: Saiyidah’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?

Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee:

Hope – our goals and dreams as this fire that you have to light. Hope comes in the form of something that helps to light the fire…

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?

Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee:

As an athlete, my coaches. It’s just amazing that before they both came along, I had this Olympic dream but I thought that my dream will remain a dream. When they came along, they gave me a glimpse of hope. They gave me that matchstick. They made me feel like my dreams can actually come true.

Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?

Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee:

This is very at the moment for me. I have been having this back injury for a few weeks now and it’s been really frustrating me and has been affecting my performance on water. As an athlete all I want to do is to win, to be fast but this injury is hindering my performance. The qualification for the Olympics is five months away and I can’t afford to lose any more training time. On top of this, a few weeks ago, I received news from my apparel sponsor saying that they won’t renew my contract. It feels like the whole world is crumbling down on me. It feels like everyone has stopped believing in me, but I told myself that if I continue to believe in myself, I’m sure that everything will be okay eventually.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee:

I have a blog and a website which I occasionally write. When I feel emotional I would just pen down my thoughts. I post inspirational quotes and videos, articles at my social media because I believe that my friends like to share these stuff so I get inspired by these stuff so if I pass it on someone else might get inspired by it. I believe that the only thing I can do right now is to continue to train. Like my coach doesn’t give up on me and gives me hope, I want to do the same. I want to fight on and reach my dream and hopefully this will inspire others as well.

Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?

Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee:

(1) Believe that you are capable of reaching your dreams and goals.
(2) Love what you do.
(3) Be strong no matter how cruel life can be. Keep your chin up.

Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.