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Sameer’s balancing act for success

Saturday, July 15, 2017
Sameer Saud Ali goes through his drills during a training session at Golden Eagle Martial Arts Academy.

Ryan Bachoo


Sameer Saud Ali is a name you’ve probably seen a few times, whether it is the newspaper or television. At 12 years old, this young martial artist is making waves in almost every aspect of his life.

His trophy cabinet at home glitters with the colour gold. It can no longer hold any trophies, so his parents have started using the cabinet where they store dishes.

His most outstanding achievement to date has been winning the Point Boxing Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PKATT) Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years—a feat never accomplished by anyone else in the history of the institution.

In tying hard work and discipline together, Sameer has found the formula for success early in his life. He says, “Since I began the sport and as I got older I began to understand that the way of the Martial Artist is more than just doing Katas and Kumite. It is really a way of life that teaches so many traits of my religion.”

He is a practicing Muslim, who stunned viewers when he recited parts of the Quran from memory during an international convention hosted in Trinidad that included Islamic scholars from around the world. “I first look up to God because nothing happens without his consent,” he tells Guardian Media Sports. He has so far memorised 57 chapters of the Quran out of 114.

Every aspect of his life—sports, religion and school —is inspired and directed by his parents, whom he says “are very intelligent people and without a doubt understands what is best for me.” Throughout his primary school years, it was his parents that ensured he didn’t stray too far away into sports, and away from school. Success can sometimes come at a price, but not for Sameer. This year, he passed for his first choice, Hillview College.

Just yesterday he added even more accolades to his name at the third annual Caribbean Karate Championship in Suriname. He won gold medal in Kumite and a bronze in Kata. Yet, for someone who wins as often as Sameer does, it is actually losing that has taught him his greatest lesson. “I have over the years learnt a valuable lesson that my Dad taught me and that is a true champion will lose to get better at what he does,” Sameer recalls.


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