Saiyidah Aisyah Mohamed Rafa’ee
a.k.a Aisyah Gala/Aisyah Rower
Singapore’s Olympic Rower.
Aisyah grew up with 4 brothers which she claimed contributed to her competitive nature. Despite being the only girl in the family, she was the most active and passionate about sports, health and fitness.
Aisyah started off her athletic career playing Netball at the age 10 and since then had represented her schools for 8 years, became captain of her school team for 2 years and was selected in Netball Singapore’s 15 and Under National Squad in 2003. She also plays football recreationally and loves running and lifting.
Aisyah first explored the fitness industry by being a personal trainer, working with mostly women in helping them work towards their fitness goals. She went on to conduct group fitness and bootcamp classes and continues to pursue her passion in fitness by joining Orangetheory Fitness as a coach. Aisyah was also a netball and rowing coach, working with athletes of various ages and abilities. Her first career after graduation was being a Physical Education teacher and later went on to become a Student Development Officer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, where she took on both teaching and administration roles.
It was in 2013 when Aisyah decided to put her career aside and pursued her rowing goals. She went on a solo trip to Sydney, Australia to train and compete for 3 months. She could not have made that decision without the support of her employers, colleagues, family and friends. It was a leap of faith which she never regretted taking.
Aisyah later went on to clinch Singapore’s first individual Gold medal in Rowing at the 23rd SEA Games in Myanmar. Although facing months of injuries and downfalls thereafter, she managed to pick herself back up and reached her ultimate goal of qualifying for the Rio Olympics. Aisyah made history again by being Singapore’s first rower to qualify for the Games.
Currently, Aisyah is enrolled as a graduate student at Springfield College in the United States where she is pursuing her master’s degree in Athletic Counseling. She is conducting several researches that focus on athlete identity and team cohesion. Her interests lie in the contributing to the study of female athletes and high performance. Aisyah aspires to be a Sport Psychologist one day.