Nurshahidah ‘The Sniper’ Roslie is Singapore’s first female professional boxer and Singapore’s first professional boxing champion. As part of our International Women’s Day special, we interviewed Nurshahidah about following her dreams, and also asked her for advice on how LadyBoss readers can be safe while travelling.
Nurshahidah was first interested in fight sports after watching an old P. Ramlee movie that featured a fight scene using the Malay martial art, Silat.
Captivated by the concept of combat sports, Nurshahidah decided to learn Tae Kwon Do at age 14. After achieving a black belt in the sport, Nurshahidah wasn’t satisfied and felt the need for a new challenge. Nurshahidah’s long arms – are weapons – much like snipers as they operate at long range – and thus her nickname was born.
Nurshahidah was introduced to her current coach, Arvind Lalwani, who was the National Coach for the Singapore team at the SEA Games in 2015. Recognising her potential, Arvind took Nurshahidah under his wing with the primary intent of grooming and debuting her as a professional boxer.
In February 2016, Nurshahidah made her debut at the second installment of the Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) and emerged victorious, making her Singapore’s first professional female boxer. At SFC 3 held in June 2016, Nurshahidah became Singapore’s First Professional Boxing Champion after clinching the Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) Intercontinental Super Featherweight title belt by defeating Thailand’s Wondergirl Sithsaithong in two rounds via a technical knockout.
LadyBoss met The Sniper and asked about her routine leading up to a tournament and her motivation to fight. We had a sneak-peek of her training preparation and also asked her for self-defence advice for travelling LadyBosses!
I wanted to challenge myself further into the competitive arena and push my limits by picking it up professionally.
Q: What sparked your interest in boxing?
A: When I was 14 years old, I took up Tae Kwon Do and the sport got me more interested in the fight sport. That’s when I started to take up kickboxing; it was later to introduced to the idea of boxing. After some experiences in the different fight sports I noticed that I excel better at traditional boxing instead of kickboxing as I have more strength in my arms than my legs. Hence my fight name ‘ The Sniper’. That’s when I knew I fell in love with the sport.
Q: What were you doing before being heavily involved in this sport?
A: I just graduated from University of Western Australia where I majored in Exercise & Heath. Prior to that, I participated in the SEA Games 2015. I wanted to challenge myself further into the competitive arena and push my limits by picking it up professionally.
Q: Tell us what is your daily routine leading up to a tournament?
A: On most days, I do a lot of technical training which involves pad work, bag work and shadow boxing. On other days, I will practice by sparring with my team mates at Juggernaut Fight Club or will get in my Strength and Conditioning training with Coach Arab. I also go for runs every day to maintain my physical stamina. However, when it comes to training for a fight, I am training twice as hard and 6 days a week.
When I lost at the SEA Games, it was a memorable one for me.
Q: 1 memorable tournament that you will never forget and why?
A: When I lost at the SEA Games it was a memorable one for me.
It was an international match and that was the first time I was so close to winning. It was a split decision and I thought I did well enough to win, however the victory was awarded to my opponent from Vietnam. That helped me realize that my style of boxing for amateur league wasn’t for me and I fit in more with professional boxing. That’s where my coach, Arvind Lalwani came in; grooming me to be the best female boxer in Singapore.
Q: What were the challenges when you first started?
A: During my amateur days, there were periods where there were no fights available. Even if I made the weight for a fight, they might inform you at the last minute that there were no opponents at all. It happened more than once so it was very disheartening at first but now with the boxing scene growing bigger in Singapore and around Asia, it’s getting better.
Find a good gym with respectable coaches who know to what extent they should push you.
Q: If you have 1 advice for women who are interested in boxing/self-defense classes, what would it be?
A: Find a good gym with respectable coaches who know to what extent they should push you. Training may seem difficult at first, and you might be tempted to give up, but remember that you’re the only one in charge of your body and if you push through, you will reap the benefits.
Q: What keeps you motivated to fight?
A: I have a vision for my boxing career to one day hold a world title and I intend on making my dreams come to pass. The support I receive from my coach, Arvind Lalwani, and my team mates at Juggernaut Fight Club also makes it easier for me to push through when there are moments I want to give up, whether it be in the ring or just a training session at the gym.
SingaporeMaven is David Ash, a Scot who has lived in Asia since 1993 and has been taking photographs for the past 35 years. David covers mainly sporting events such as Rugby and Soccer and he covers all of the main Combat Sports Events in Southeast Asia.