How it all started
As a young child, Aifa Azman found herself falling in love with the sport of squash because of her elder sister, Aika Azman. Aifa would follow her sister to practice every day and soon found herself enamored with the game.
Therefore, Aifa started playing competitively at the age of 7, and from then on, she was serious about making a career out of squash.
Aifa's dreams of becoming the world No.1 started when she was just 7 years old. She turned professional when she was 15 and finished her juniors at the age of 19. In her journey to becoming a professional athlete, she has made several sacrifices.
Aifa @ Singapore Open 2022
She has missed many family special occasions and spent a lot of time travelling for competitions. She has also had to deal with many injuries and battles with herself mentally.
Aifa trains six days a week, twice a day, for a total of around four hours a day. Her training sessions are dependent on what she is doing that day.
Aifar with OVER 2.2L Sangria Purple
Pressures to OVERcome
The recent Women's World Squash Championship in 2022 was a major event for Aifa, where she was a part of the top 3 best team in the world.
Being the best player on the team put a lot of pressure on her as she had to play against the best player of every team. She had to play most of the matches and by the quarterfinals, her body was already not at 100%.
3rd Placing with teammate @ Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
However, she managed to overcome the pressure and not giving up by having a good mindset and support system from her coaches, physio, and teammates. Her preparation included video analysis, game plan, and lots of positive self-talk.
Aifa's pillar of strength includes her faith in God, family, team, Coach Andrew Cross, and her strength and conditioning Coach Paul Sales.
On the Podium @ Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Advices for the new and current
When asked about her advice for people who want to start or have just started their squash journey, she suggests that one should not think about the rules too much initially.
Instead, play more of the sport, love the sport, then will it be easier to learn the rules! For those who are already playing, she advises them to enjoy the game and work hard towards their goals.
Champion @ Malaysia Open 2021
Just the beginning
Aifa's ultimate objective in squash is to become world No.1. Her journey towards achieving that goal has been filled with challenges, sacrifices, and victories.
However, she remains focused on her objective, and with her talent and hard work, there is no doubt that she will achieve it.