Tuesday, October 26, 2021

From podium to petrol station

Mohd Raduan Emeari is no longer a national para-athlete but he is content with his life and where he is now.

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He won a number of medals for Malaysia at competitions such as the Asean Para Games, all of which are arranged with care in a cabinet at his home in Kuala Selangor.

His medal haul tells the story of how he overcame his cerebral palsy to achieve far more than anyone would have dreamt.

Equally treasured are the old photographs showing proud and memorable moments throughout the years.

During those days, he was proud to wear the orange and black of the national team.

He also made sure to stay fit so that he could continue doing what he loved.

Now, though, he spends his days working as an assistant at a petrol station, a realisation that came as a surprise for many.

As an assistant, his job is to help customers fill their petrol tanks and to wash their windows and windscreens.

He travels to and from work by motorcycle with a sticker on his bike informing other drivers that he is disabled.

But it troubles him that he does not possess a licence as he cannot understand enough of the driving test to pass it.

Once safely home, he parks his motorcycle carefully by the side of the porch and lets himself into the house.

He is close with his mother, Normah Hassan, and always helps her with the chores once he is home from work.

He also helps water the plants outside the house.

One of his hobbies is rearing chickens. These, he keeps in a cage behind the house, carefully tending to them every day.

While he is no longer a national athlete, he tries to stay in good shape by exercising every day.

He also works part-time with the National Sports Council, helping to train a new generation of para-athletes.

If he has spare time, he enjoys fishing at any of the streams or ponds around the neighbourhood.

Otherwise, he heads to the jetty of the small village where he sits in one of the empty boats with his fishing rod, enjoying the peace and solitude.

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