3 Auck North Soldier a New Zealand Wrestling Champion
By Major Syd Dewes
Pushing past pain, physical limits, and continuing on in spite of exhaustion is something 20 year old Private Faisal Attayee knows well. This is part of the course and what he often experiences as he pursues his goal to be a champion in his sport of choice - wrestling.
Private Faisal Attayee - a New Zealand wrestling champion (AW-11-1007-1).
His smile belies a quiet mental toughness that is partnered with ever improving physical strength. This is a winning combination that has helped Attayee, who is of Afghan descent, win three New Zealand national titles and three Oceania championships. Attayee immigrated to NZ with his parents when he was seven years old and his passion for wrestling developed as a young boy needing to defend himself against school yard bullies.
Not content with his current New Zealand and Oceania wrestling titles, Faisal Attayee, a part-time soldier and Auckland resident, recently left NZ to seek overseas competition and participate in training camps that will prepare him to compete for a world championship title in his specialist event, the 84 kg division.
"Attending overseas training camps is necessary because that is where I will get to meet my likely competitors, gain experience, and can then incorporate all that into my training and preparations," says Attayee. He already follows a punishing six day week training schedule to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenges ahead.
However, competing at world championship level is no easy task nor is it cheap, especially for one who would also like to represent New Zealand at the 2012 Olympic Games in London - Olympic wrestling is no longer funded by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. Finding sufficient funds is a major and constant obstacle for Attayee. His participation in competition events is self-funded so he must fund raise in order to cover his training, travel, and other competition costs.
Recent television coverage when he featured in the programme, Asia Downunder, not only provided great insight to this young man and his chosen sport, but hopefully will also assist Attayee’s efforts to win sponsorship.
Attayee, who is an Army Reserve soldier posted to the 3rd Auckland (CRO) and Northland Battalion, also has a civilian job, and manages to cram in study for a diploma in fitness and business. Attayee’s commitment and resulting achievements sets benchmarks for others to aim for and emulate – he is proving to be a great role model for young New Zealanders, be they civilian or military. Faisal Attayee is a soldier and champion worthy of our collective support.