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Elli making waves in a male dominated field and doing it with grace

There's not a sport that Elli does not enjoy - from track to basketball and football,Elli can do it all.After graduating law school and practicing law for a few years, Elli decided to make a career out of her passion for sports.

In June 2021, Elli took a leap of faith and joined Astro Arena as an official football presenter - her 1st television debut.

Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I’m Elli Famira & I came from a legal background, a proud Member of the Malaysian Bar before my path led me to discovering myself as a football presenter on Astro Arena (which feels truly wholesome for me definitely!).

My work covers mostly on international football, ranging from English Premier League, Bundesliga, League 1, Seria A, UEFA Champions League, World Cup actions and so much more! I’ll spend my time watching football games, analysing & comprehending football tactics, political issues off the pitch in the world of football, transfer window strategies, club management crisis and controversies… the list is too long to begin with!

Basically, anything that happens in a football match and there’s me and my fellow colleagues trying to break things down in depth for the audience to understand things a little easier. I am not a pundit, definitely. I consider myself a ‘serious’ football fan, and trying my very best each day on becoming a decent storyteller for the rest of football fans out there as well.

 

@ellfmrzsmn Taking you guys to work with me today! Final show of the season, after 38 weeks of crazy good football 😍 #BerbuluDenganBurn #AstroArena ♬ original sound - elliecat

 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Early morning is my most favourite time of the day. On my off days, my body automatically wakes up bit earlier than usual just for me to slot in some me time before the day starts at a chaotic pace (yes, you read it right. My off days can be chaotic too!)

I usually get my day planned out the night before I went to sleep. So I’ll wake up, sit on my couch in the living hall, taking a deep breath before I go through my to-do list for the day, spend time cuddling with the cats and look around my house looking at how my plants are doing. It’s becoming a daily routine for me to subconsciously wake up from my sleep, make the bed & sit on the couch before I get on with my day. Also, trying to make it a habit not to have my phone around me in the first 30 mins of my morning.

What are you most passionate about?

It takes me quite a while to answer this question genuinely. Because I am a woman who’s truly passionate of many things! I’d probably have to start by assessing my view on what passion means to me. It is a powerful feeling that is tangled heavily with the spectrum of most powerful emotions. It is what your heart desires for. It is what gives your soul an absolute joy. Your heart breaks when you couldn’t get it, feel it, do it, see it, or achieve it.

I strongly feel my truest passion lies in contributing to society. This might sound generic, and you’d probably think you wouldnt get anything out of this statement. But let me try to break it down to you. We often have this idea, when a statement involves ‘contributing to society’, it has to be something big-scaled. Something you can only achieve efficiently if you’re in a position of power, working with government or relevant authorities for example.

In my definition, you contribute to society when you go out of your way to make sure whatever you do on daily basis, serves a bigger purpose to your community, in one way or another. For example, during lockdown - I purposely tried not to get fresh vegetable from big supermarkets, I went hunting down for fresh vege from makcik jual sayur tepi jalan instead. When everyone else has the privilege to choose convenience by shopping for groceries online, there’s this chain of unfortunate sellers who aren’t IT-savvy enough to join the e-commerce circle having to keep on relying on their usual business routines by setting up stalls by the roadside, hoping for people to come out of their house and do business at their stalls instead.

I shopped for groceries online all the time, I tried to spend once a week to go out of my way to look for these roadside stalls, fulfilling the demands of their business too. It was really nothing much, but I made sure I went out of my way to contribute. I helped set up foodbank for the unfortunate families around my neighbourhood, when they weren’t licensed by the government to go to work. The efforts were nothing much really. I made sure I helped restock the foodbank pantry 3x a week with basic essentials just so they wouldnt go hungry at home. Neighbours and friends were too kind to help chip in and shop for essentials with me as well. Some people just need an initiator to get their good deeds channelled somewhere. Be that initiator. Be that enabler. My brother always reminded us, “Life is short, be kind.”

 

@ellfmrzsmn

Restocking Foodbank on Sundays ✨

♬ original sound - elliecat

 

What part of you that you are most proud of?

The ability to keep on going despite whatever life throws at you.

Accept the fact that the journey to discover this ability will not always be pretty. I can feel my heart shrinking a little as I’m typing this. Graduating from law school, going through pupillage, getting called to the Bar, joined an in-house team in the aviation industry right away as I never had the intention to pursue practicing, leaving the position despite how much I loved working with my boss! (Makram, if you see this, I appreciate my time learning & working with and for you, always!) which led to me unknowingly leaving the brief legal scene and trying to make my way towards sports industry before COVID happened and all plans had to be halted.

I was left wondering alone in a little corner of my house, questioning my worth, my decision to leave my previous job, questioning almost every single thing in life. But funnily, there was one tiny feeling or rather voice that asked me to keep on believing there will eventually be light at the end of the tunnel. I was battling with that voice almost everyday, trying to assure the voice otherwise - the light will never come. Also, the whole uncertainty of the COVID situation at that point of time sent me down the drains even further. Nothing helped but you know what did?

Faith. When all else fails, God will always be with you. Through the loneliest of days, through the uncertainty of times, through whatever hurdles life sent your way, no matter how tiny the piece of faith you have in self, it will keep you warm and guarded. It will speak to you in the most calmest voice, puts you at ease and helps you to clear your mind and reset again.

I never ever downplay the power of faith. My faith is within my veins. And I only have God to thank for. 


What are some of the positive changes that you try to implement this year?

Be more strict with my food intake. I don’t need to go on rigid diets unnecessarily, as I am a champion of everything has to be balanced and moderate for you to be able to enjoy food!



But I hope to be a bit more strict with my diet especially when my sports seasons coming up. All year round, I play competitively in flag football tournaments and leagues. I make it a habit to try to cook at home as much as I could, cause I know what goes directly into my food and limit my outdoor dining.

I have two big weaknesses when it comes to food. Firstly, fried chicken. I swear I can eat fried chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But good thing is, I have successfully controlled my fried chicken intake! It is a surprise still, to be honest. But it is what it is hahaha! I think it started when I forced myself to change my thought process about fried chicken. Rather than thinking of it as a must thing to have week in week out, I treat my favourite food as my reward instead. Eg: I do cardio 5x a week, then only I would have it!

But lately, I found myself going back to my second weakness instead. Which is, potato chips. It’s getting worse now cause recently I ‘upgraded’ my kitchen with clear organizers (thanks to Tiktok on kitchen organization tips), hence I get to see my chips being on display all the time in the kitchen and that certainly does not stop me grabbing them every now and then.



I am still not disciplined enough to comply with the rule “if you dont see it, you wont eat it”. Means if you don’t have these snacks in the house in the first place, you won’t bother thinking or eating them!

But not my fault tho! I cook a lot for friends at home, and they always come with snacks in hand and I get to keep these chips eventually. (I just have to stop making excuses but this is definitely something I want to work on this year :)

If your life is a song, what would it be and why?

All Star by Smash Mouth, definitely! The song itself depicts a lot of conflicting comparisons sending messages of anti-establishment, anti-societal rules and so much more but why I think this song fits as my life theme is not because of these reasons. But more to how it constantly sends us reminders, that life is indeed short and if you are not taking advantage of your time in this world, the world will take advantage of you instead.

Be brave, mould your own tough character, and once you start being an ignorant in life, you’ll fall to being a victim of this massive amount of lies the world has to offer. Conform to societal rules, only when they serve a beneficial purpose to the community you live in. Create our own glory, don’t be yes man, and it’s ok to question everything coming your way instead of blindly accepting everything and anything in life.

That’s me. That’s definitely me in every single way possible. My family, friends, colleagues and teammates can vouch for that definitely. I question everything if I couldn’t figure the logic behind certain decisions we make, obligations we take upon, or responsibilities we’re assigned to. Everything needs to come with a sensible justification, only then whatever we do, we’ll do it wholeheartedly. I just love this song. Give it a listen!

What’s your biggest influence?

As corny as it sounds, it has got to be my parents. I am definitely a mix of both firm characters. Probably that’s the reason why I give them a lot of headaches from time to time! Haha.

Growing up and observing their work ethics, I’ve always tried to incorporate them into my own. My huge interest in sports especially football definitely stemmed from my dad who always put football matches on the screen, which got to make me starting to ask a lot of things about the team he supports (which has now become my football club too!), and led to me picking up main bola petang-petang with the boys in the neighbourhood and without me planning…. A football presenter on TV! Sounds crazy right?

My mum was responsible in igniting the interest (and so much love) in reading for me. She made me sit down and read all the Reader’s Digest magazines she subscribed for herself ever since I was 5! At the age of 7, I remember thinking about what story for me to attempt writing on, on every single weekend just so I could see my writing get featured in that magazine. Probably that made my decision to choose to go to law school easier cause I could do lots of reading everyday, and argue my case in every single submission.

She’s definitely the best teacher I’ve had in life. Her gentle character, her will spirit to always strive to provide her kids the whole world even though she didn’t have much or probably didn’t even know much. But she has the answers to every single question I ask in life ever since I was a kid, even until now.

May both of my parents always remain in God’s best blessings. Amin.

What do you want to see more of in the world?

Kindness.

I feel like the extreme presence of social media has slowly and successfully made us lacking in championing the power of kindness in one way or another. It makes it so easy for us to nonchalantly leave an unkind or a rude remark to strangers whom we have never met or spoken to in real life.

We are easily swayed away with the scattered emotions we see on our timeline or feed everyday, about politicians, about rude people on the road etc. But to see people going above and beyond their anger attacking the personal life / family members of the person, or ganging up with everyone else bullying the person online til one deactivates social media unnecessarily creeps me out honestly.

I just wish for us to be more wary with what we post online and always have a second thought before we wanna say anything to anyone - will these words bite us back in one way or another? If not to us, to people around us and would we like to see that?

What Everyday Role Model mean to you?

You showing up in the best version of yourself, every single day possible. You are your own Everyday Role Model and the fact we conveniently forget we are only guaranteed one chance in this life makes us tend to take things for granted.

You have a bad day today? That’s okay. It happens. But is your tomorrow taken away from you? Not necessarily. Take full charge of things within your control. Do not dwell on your bad day longer than necessary. It’s a bad day, not a bad life.

I choose to say Yes to this Everyday Role Model campaign with Whimsigirl because I believe in what the team is trying to champion. Every single personality in this campaign flourishes in different colours and that’s what makes it wholesome.

We can be true in our own skins, celebrating and embracing every single different side of us and telling a whole load other girls out there, they can speak their own voice, embrace their own journey, and celebrate their own passions too.

At the end of the day, we are our own Everyday Role Model and we shall aspire and continue working on always showing up in better version of ourselves than yesterday.

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