Motivated by his kids, Fazrul goes back to books
National footballer becomes first beneficiary of partnership between FAS and PSB Academy
Fazrul Nawaz was embarrassed when he couldn't answer some of the questions his kids asked him regarding their primary school homework.
That awkward moment in turn motivated the father of three to upgrade himself.
The 33-year-old, an O-level certificate holder, went on to enrol in a part-time diploma course in sport and exercise sciences with PSB Academy four months ago.
The Hougang United striker has become the first beneficiary of a partnership between the private education institution and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
Under a memorandum of understanding signed by both parties yesterday, Singapore Premier League players will receive study grants of up to 15 per cent for PSB Academy's programmes. The grants are also offered to FAS staff.
Recalling that awkward moment with his two older kids - a nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son, Fazrul said: "They played a part in me wanting to upgrade myself.
"The two older ones are in primary school and their homework is not as easy as it was during our time.
"Once, they asked me some questions and I didn't know the answers and I felt ashamed.
"That made me realise that I really need to upgrade myself, no matter what, so that when my kids ask me questions, I can help them and maybe even cut down on tuition fees."
Fazrul, who also has a 1½-year-old son, had also spoken to others who are doing part-time studies already, such as Adam Swandi, 22.
Said Fazrul: "When I was his age, I did not even think of doing this and that's when I thought I should start thinking about it seriously."
Fazrul took up a sports science course after seeing how the discipline had helped him recover from multiple injuries. He hopes to become a fitness coach after hanging up his boots.
To be sure, it has not been easy for him to balance training, studies and family commitments. His lessons take place at night, two to three times a week, after his training sessions with Hougang.
Said Fazrul, who hopes to complete the course in a year: "It's quite tiring, but it's what I want and I have to motivate myself. I want to be a good example for my kids.
"It was hard in the beginning but, once I got into the rhythm, I know how the schedule's like and I manage my time properly.
"It's all about time management."
In partnering with the FAS, PSB Academy CEO Derrick Chang hopes they can help nurture footballers' skills off the field. He said: "We are renewing our commitment to developing future-ready talent for Singapore through the support of our local athletes today."
While FAS deputy president Bernard Tan said the organisation hopes to enhance footballers' employability after their playing careers are over, Fazrul is looking even further.
Said Fazrul: "I'm really looking forward to completing my diploma and I won't stop there. I want to go for a degree."