Nur Dhia Izz Ashfadina Muhammad Asrie, 10, did not let autism hold her back from expressing her love for Malaysia as she swam 10 km across Selat Dinding in conjunction with National Day.
To complete the swim starting from the Pangkor Jetty and ending at Weldzone Jetty in Lumut, it took Dhia 3 hours and 40.49 sec while bracing the hot weather!
Dhia, along with nine other autistic and dyslexic swimmers aged 9 to 18 years, were accompanied by 47 officers from the Royal Malaysian Navy and they became the first ever autistic kids to cross Selat Dinding!
“I wasn’t afraid. I had lots of fun and am just a little tired as it was quite a distance, she told The Star.
“The 500m distance I swam at an event in Port Dickson is nothing compared to this, the longest I’ve ever done. I just wanted to achieve something great this National Day,” she said after reaching the final destination.
Another participant, Nayli Wafiy Abd Razak, 9, who has dyslexia, said that she had used her mother’s advice to meditate to keep moving forward when she wanted to give up in the middle of the swim after feeling too tired – “I love to swim and have been swimming since I was six. Just this time, I was scared of jellyfish because this is my first 10 km swim in open waters”.
“Thankfully, I managed to complete the swim as a result of my training at the RMN Lumut swimming pool three hours, twice a week, for the past three months,” said the girl from Tapah.
The swimming event was organised by the Lumut RMN base and supported by the Manjung Municipal Council among others, and said that they plan to host the event annually every National Day.
These brave and dedicated kids have certainly made this year’s National Day celebration all the more amazing!
*Featured image sourced from Harian Metro