Nine-year-old Maira Malik gunning for glory
A BUDDING young martial arts star is hoping to kick her way to stardom this weekend at the annual British Asian Sports Awards.
Nine-year-old Maira Malik has been chosen as one of three nominees fighting for the Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
The British Asian Sports Awards recognise sporting talent from the Asian community and will be held at the London Hilton Park Lane this weekend.
Maira, who has been performing the sport for nearly three years at the Family Martial Arts centre in her hometown of Liverpool, has already fought her way to a black belt which she achieved last December.
She is also a ‘Success Coach’ at the centre which allows her to coach and motivate her fellow students.
Speaking to The Asian Today, young Maira said she was “excited” at the prospect of meeting her hero Amir Khan – a sporting legend in the Malik household.
“It feels great that my achievements have been recognized”, she said.
“I enjoy martial arts because it teaches me to be kind, respectful and have confidence in myself. It also keeps me fit.”
She added: “I’m very excited about going to London – mostly because I will meet Amir Khan but I’m sure I’ll be nervous on the day.”
Dad Younis said the whole family was extremely proud of Maira’s achievement.
He said: “We’re both very proud of our little girl being nominated for this award. We have always really appreciated Maira’s commitment to her Martial Arts but having others recognise it and appreciate it is a great feeling for us as her parents. It makes us feel that all the running around we have had to do for her is worth every effort.
“We were surprised but also absolutely delighted when we found out Maira had got through to the final round – especially as we weren’t actually going to enter until the day before the closing date so it’s really pleasing result.
“We feel for all the others who entered but weren’t selected as I’m sure they would have been a little disappointed.”
The whole family will travel down to London from Liverpool this weekend to support Maira and rub shoulders with some sporting greats.
“We really looking forward to the awards night”, Younis added, “It will be a great chance to see some really inspirational people, especially Amir Khan who’s a bit of a favourite in our house.”