Misha's strong and focused
Out of the depths of sorrow, she stands tall today as a netball prodigy
Misha Nur Rasyana Rashid experienced a loss no young child should ever have to know - the death of her parents.
The tragedy saw Misha separated from her older sister.
Misha was cared for by her maternal grandparents, while her sister moved in with the paternal grandparents.
The past nine years have been difficult, but Misha, who turns 12 on National Day, has something that she simply enjoys, and can get lost in.
Netball is her game, and she was part of Fengshan Primary School's senior team that recently won the Primary Schools Netball Championship.
"Playing netball was a turning point for me," she told The New Paper recently. "I used to lack discipline but, after I picked up the sport, I became responsible, disciplined, and was committed to my team.
"I have grown to love netball and life in general."
Her teacher-in-charge, Neresa Wong, could not agree more.
"She's become much more disciplined over the years. She used to arrive late for training, or sometimes she wouldn't show up, and we would have to call her grandmother to find out where she was," said Wong.
Occupying the wing defence position, Misha became a key figure in the Fengshan senior team, who were determined to clinch the trophy after finishing third last year.
There was some apprehension when they realised their opponents in the final would be St Margaret's Primary, one of the top contenders for the title.
It was an intense final, with Fengshan forced to call a time-out at one point after Misha suffered an injury.
Recalling the incident, Misha insisted she wanted to carry on.
"I didn't want to give up. I wanted to fight all the way," she said.
The match was decided only in the final 30 seconds, when Fengshan grabbed the winner to pip their opponents 26-25.
"Prior to the season, we had daily morning drills and runs from 6.30am to 7.25am, and we had after-school training twice or three times a week. I think the rigorous training helped Misha to stay focused," said Wong.
"The sport gave her something to do after school for the past four years, and also improved her attitude towards her studies."
Her grandparents actively support Misha's netball, and grandma and uncle watched her in the final.
Currently studying for her PSLE, Misha is looking to further her netball ambition in secondary school.
"I applied for Direct School Admission into Dunman Secondary School because they have a really good team there. I want to improve my defence and interception skills.
"I hope to play for the national team one day."