Sharifah Munirah rows her way to top in the world

Many years ago, the education of Sharifah Munirah Alatas discovered the game of erging, and fell in love with it during the 2021 pandemic.

Or thanks to an episode of the Netflix series “House of Cards,” when the character of Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) enters his room and begins to use the steam engine in the house that his wife bought him. . Munirah, a golfer, was somehow attracted to the movie. Before he knew it, he had bought a Concept 2 Model D cruiser for his home. “I’m just amazed at how much I’ve come to love this sport. And how much I have improved. Starting from scratch, knowing nothing about sailing, to train in the hope of now maintaining a competitive level at the international level. It’s good,” he said. Erging is the use of an indoor rowing machine, known as an ergometer. This practice, which was originally started to make sailors train in the winter, is now rapidly gaining popularity.

Munirah started going through step-by-step introductory videos on YouTube. I was very helped by many, world class rowers who explained the concept of rowing with easy to follow instructions that I needed to learn rowing techniques, as well as the names of the machine parts. I quickly learned sailing techniques such as drag, hold, cadence, splits, vibration settings and recovery. “It was very overwhelming in the beginning, but I believe for anyone who is just starting out, you’ll learn all of this within two to three days,” she said.

Soon Munirah was posting results of her rudimentary workouts online. In 2022, he received a message from Rod Chinn, an England-based indoor surfing record holder, who invited him to join his online group, The Diamonds (Over Sixties Erging Group).

Munirah took him up on his offer, and discovered a warm and supportive community there. She found herself in the same boat, so to speak, as 2,357 others from 44 countries: Munirah believes she is the only Malaysian!

She and her group members communicate regularly through Facebook, posting daily workouts, discussing problems, or simply sharing training highs and lows.

The Diamonds recently achieved a new world record for a team in the 2023-2024 season, for rowing the most metres — 2.617 billion metres.In May 2023, Munirah participated in her first half-marathon. It was not an easy task, but the intrepid athlete managed to accomplish it. Since then, she has completed eight half marathons. In the category of women aged 60 to 64 worldwide, Munirah is currently first in the full marathon category, second in 60 minutes, third in 30 minutes and fourth in the category ten thousand meters. These announcements cover the period from May 1, 2024 to April 30, 2025. He will also participate in his first sailing competition in Negeri Sembilan on July 6.

Munirah hopes that more Malaysians will start cycling indoors, especially since bikes are cheap and easy to find here. He tried to contact other sailors in Malaysia, but was unsuccessful. Although he believes that the Penang Rowing Club is active, it is difficult for him to participate in its activities as he is based in Kuala Lumpur. “I hope to meet sailing enthusiasts of my age – seniors in their 60s and older, retired men and women who prefer a sport that is gentle on the knees , but still provides good cardio and full body toning exercise,” said Munirah.

I hope they will come forward and join me because I am determined to continue competing on a global scale. It would be great if my fellow Malaysians join me on the global stage! »

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