LeadershipThe IKONWomen’s Corner

SQUASHING HER WAY TO VICTORY – DATUK NICOL ANN DAVID

SQUASHING HER WAY TO VICTORY – DATUK NICOL ANN DAVID


Nicol Ann David, or more fondly known as Datuk Nicol David is Malaysia’s retired female professional squash player. Beginning August 2006, she was the world number one for a record-breaking 108 consecutive months before ceding the throne in 2015. In this exclusive interview with IKON, Datuk Nicol shares her opinion on the most significant challenges that young girls faced penetrating a male-dominated industry and her messages to all young girls in Malaysia.

Which woman would you say is an inspiration/hero to you? And why?

I would say my mum; Ann Marie is the woman that inspires me to be a good person. She always shows her gratitude towards those around her and giving the respect that everyone deserves at every moment. She told me from a young age that no matter whether I win or lose, as long as I’m a good person, that’s all that matters. I learnt the meaning of being humble from her as she was an example to my sisters and I growing up until now.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges for young girls in Malaysia to break the barrier in a male-dominated industry?

The biggest challenge for young girls in Malaysia and girls around the world is that there is still not a strong self-belief in their capabilities that sometimes stop them from pursuing their dreams or future ambitions. It takes courage to make those breakthroughs and all young girls have that in themselves, they just need to be supported and encouraged to believe it is possible and then take that leap of faith to not stop themselves from taking that first step to try something that fulfils their potential.

You have been to so many countries, what are the most significant differences that you can see between the opportunity given to women overseas as compared to women in Malaysia?

Every country varies with the way they give opportunities to women but in Malaysia, I believe we can still make more steps to continuously encourage our women in different forms to take their chances to shine for themselves. In sports in Malaysia, I’ve seen an evolution in the way more women athletes are striving to be great athletes and they’re appreciated throughout the country so I imagine this can be replicated at every level that women can make that difference in the Malaysian society

Do you get messages from young women who look up to you and wish to be like you? How do you usually reply to messages like that?

Yes, it’s very humbling to hear that young women have shared their thoughts on being like me and I always encourage them that they too are stronger than they realize to make things happen for themselves. Reminding them to work hard for their passion and never let anyone tell them otherwise.

Lastly, do you have any messages to young girls in Malaysia who are afraid to break gender norms?

To all young girls in Malaysia, you have what it takes to explore your full potential with the talents you have. Give yourself a chance to do what you want to do and give it all you got. Nothing comes easy, only hard work and patience pays off at the end of the day so make it count.

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