CPL (NS) Mohamad Idris bin Sadlizan: Courting Success

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Despite having completed his National Service in December 2020, CPL (NS) Mohamad Idris bin Sadlizan still regularly contacts his “enciks” and commanders from the Tuas View Fire Station. During these calls, the 23-year-old updates them about how his sepak takraw training for the Singapore national team is going on. His superiors have a great interest in his development — after all, they were the ones who encouraged him to join the national team last year. “I represented the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at local competitions such as the Perses (Singapore Sepaktakraw Federation) Sepaktakraw Tournament, which was where I was scouted for the national team in July 2020,” CPL (NS) Idris recalls.

The sport is not new to CPL (NS) Idris. He started playing it during Physical Education classes at Jurongville Secondary School. “I love sepak takraw because it is so different from other sports. There are just three people in a team, which makes each game intense.” Despite his early exposure to the sport and prowess on the court, CPL (NS) Idris was still surprised when he was asked to join the national team. “My first reaction was to turn down the offer, as I did not know if I could balance my various commitments. But my enciks supported me wholeheartedly. They also reminded me that this was a rare opportunity that I should not miss.”
CPL (NS) Idris accepted the invitation — and these days, he is hard at work, training for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, which takes place in Hanoi, Vietnam, later this November. He trains at Heartbeat @ Bedok about three times a week, juggling the sessions with his full-time job as a pest control technician. Each session lasts for two-and-a-half hours, starting with a 30-minute warm-up. “The time taken to train at least an hour each day and to travel to and from training can be quite exhausting,” admits CPL (NS) Idris. However, he is eager to do his best, knowing that his success in sepak takraw has pleased his parents immensely. “My father was also a sepak takraw player during his growing-up years in the kampung,” he shares. “So, I am very happy to be making him proud. At every match, my parents are in the front row, cheering me on.”

CPL (NS) Idris’s packed schedule means that he cannot spend as much time with his family as he would like to. “But whenever we can find pockets of time during the weekends, we head to a nearby mall to enjoy a meal together.”
Sepak takraw is an exciting combination of moves, requiring its players to have agility, flexibility and strength. At training sessions, players like CPL (NS) Idris practice by having a coach feed balls over the net and practising the different types of kicks used in the game. These include the basic inside kick, outside kick and knee kick.

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