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I considered myself a pampered son until my mother's...

Jazsley Zainal

“I considered myself a pampered son until my mother’s business folded up. It hit me that I need to take charge of my own life…” - Jazsley Zainal, Bachelor of Science Sport and Exercise Science by Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Studied: Bachelor of Science Sport and Exercise Science by Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Beneath the gentle façade of Jazsley Zainal, 21, lies a very determined, driven and forward-thinking young man. Deriving inspiration from adversity, Jazsley is translating his passion for sports and games into work as a National Service close combat instructor and part-time studies in a Sports Science Degree. PSB Academy found time to speak with this highly driven young man. 

We hear you are quite stretching your hours and energy, balancing National Service with a part-time course at PSB Academy.

I have been serving my National Service since 2013, to last till August 2015. After my basic training, I passed a qualifying test and have been a close combat instructor since, bringing me to different camps to deliver my training. My regular hours in-camp from 8am to 5pm actually allow me to take on a 2-year part-time Degree in Sports Science at PSB Academy. 

Wow, close combat, is that a passion you have?

My love for sports started young and I was part of my secondary school’s rugby team – which my father strongly encouraged as he felt it would toughen up my physique! Mixed martial arts is my other passion prior to NS and I have translated it to coaching in the NS - we pit trainees against pseudo assailants to up the challenge quotient. 

Tell us, what actually motivated you to take on both commitments at the same time, when you could be spending your off days resting or having fun with friends?

I have been asked this many times and recognize it is not a usual commitment for my peers. Since young, my parents have been a positive influence by being forward thinking, bold in pursuing their endeavors, not giving up in the face of setbacks and very importantly, always supporting my siblings and I in the choices we make in life.

Surely, there must be more that spurred you on?

One particular phase that has propelled me to take charge of my life and do a lot more was when my mother’s F&B business deteriorated and the few restaurants she owned eventually folded up. Having to tide through financial constraints and relocating to more affordable housing across the causeway made those 2 years tough for my family, but also bonded us through adversity. That was when I decided to stretch my abilities, let my passion soar as a career through a charted course. 

The family difficulty has indeed made you more tenacious. While the going may be tough now, you will see the returns in due time…

Indeed, the motivation through adversity is an experience I hold dear to my heart and I tell myself I had worse days when the going gets tough these days. Thinking about the early head start I would have over my peers also keeps me going. 

Why did you choose PSB Academy (instead of other institutions) and how are you liking campus life so far?

I researched and found my Degree at PSB Academy to be the most relevant. Comparing my current studies to a diploma I took in the past, PSB Academy has allowed me to stay focused, find meaning in the learning and at the same time cultivate a healthy campus lifestyle. One aspect I truly appreciate is that the academy helps new students ease into what could potentially be a daunting and unfamiliar environment. Surely, this is what all new students go through and a good start is always welcomed? 

You must have thought about what you want to do after completing the course?

Indeed! While being a sports scientist is my ultimate goal, I would like to put to good use what I am learning now. I would like to spend a couple of years as a personal fitness trainer, to directly help people enjoy their fitness training and at the same time give myself another perspective of sports. I am definitely looking forward to the new chapter after I complete my studies in PSB Academy.