30 May 2020
Former top athlete Roslinda Samsu returned to Malaysia yesterday after being stranded in Mainz, Germany.
After a year-long coaching course in the German city, she obtained an athletics coaching diploma from the DLV-International Coaching Academy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz on May 15.
Roslinda was supposed to come back on June 1 but her flight was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The academy, on learning of her flight cancellation, helped Roslinda find an alternative flight on May 28 from Frankfurt.
Roslinda finally arrived at KLIA yesterday at 7.30pm, after leaving Mainz to Frankfurt by train to catch a KLM flight. She transited in Amsterdam and Bangkok.
The whole journey from Mainz to Kuala Lumpur took 22 hours.
Upon arrival, Roslinda had to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine and was taken to a hotel in Petaling Jaya.
“Never mind the quarantine, I am just glad to be back after a year away.
“Earlier I had doubts I could get home after my initial flight for June 1 was cancelled,” said a relieved Roslinda after arriving at KLIA.
Roslinda, who turns 38 on June 9, is not disappointed that she will have to spend her birthday in quarantine.
“As much as I miss spending my birthday with my parents in Kuala Nerang (Kedah), I am just glad to be back on Malaysian soil.
“In any case, it will be a unique birthday in quarantine which I will remember forever,” said Roslinda.
The former pole vaulter has soared high on paper too, emerging top student, together with Hakim Ibrahim from Azerbaijan.
Ten coaches from Cambodia, Myanmar, Mexico, Nigeria, Tanzania, Azerbaijan and Malaysia attended the year-long course.
Roslinda, who teaches physical education, civics and sports science at Pahang Sports School, is a four-time Sea Games gold medallist and the 2006 Asian Games silver medallist.
She looks forward to spending time with her parents and siblings (she is the fifth among five girls and three boys) after the quarantine.
“I am glad that everything has worked out well in the end, and above all having attained the diploma,” said Roslinda who did the course in German.
Her study in Maniz was fully sponsored by the institute, and she had only pay for the airfare, which was sponsored by the National Sports Council.
Roslinda’s diploma is equivalent to the B licence athletics coaching certificate in Germany and IAAF Level 2 certification.
“I learnt a great deal there and I am eager to impart the knowledge here,” she said.
Roslinda, whose motto is Never Give Up, said: “Now that I am home, I can’t wait to begin my next two goals: enhance grassroots development programmes for athletics and to help produce more women pole vaulters.
“There is a lot of paperwork on grassroots back home but not implemented to the best.
“I want to make a difference and ensure that grassroots development moves to top priority and a different level.”
Roslinda, who competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, still holds the national record of 4.40m, set in Spain in 2006.
She won the bronze medal at the 2005 Asian Athletics championships in Incheon, South Koreas and gold at the 2007 championship in Amman, Jordan.