Issue 95 August 2012
Dayyan Jaffar followed the advice of the Prophet to take up archery. Ali Khimji talks to the young Singaporean archer about taking aim and hitting targets.
Many people will have seen the archer Dayyan Jaffar in the Coca-Cola adverts and will associate him with the 2012 London Olympics. Unfortunately the young archer won’t be competing this year, however, this setback has not discouraged him in any way. “With determination and discipline, my dream to be an Olympian will come true,” he says.
Dayyan was first introduced to archery at the age of nine on a weekend family outing. He stood out amongst his friends as the only archer, because many of them chose traditional sports, such as football and badminton. “I won my first medal at the age of 10, representing my school,” he says. “And I have been winning medals since then. My enthusiasm for the sport has grown with time. I enjoy it and I am motivated to excel.”
Dayyan quickly moved through the categories, and at the age of 13, he and his two brothers were selected for the national youth team and trained under a former national coach from Korea. The next year, he won his first overseas medal in Taipei at the Asian Junior Championships. Then at 16, he participated in the South East Asian Games in Laos, where he set his highest ever score for overseas competition.
As a Muslim, Dayyan is very proud of his faith: “I strongly believe that God will always be with us and guide us with whatever good deeds that we do. I am a student and an athlete, as Islam encourages its people to be involved in sports. In archery, whenever I compete for my country, I feel great that not only am I doing it for myself, for my family, and for my country, but also the Muslim community.