Despite his visual impairment, Chevening Alumnus Norali Ali Yusop (2012/2013) from Brunei ran 10K in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last week to inspire students and special needs centres.

Norali has been overcoming disability challenges since the age of 17 when he lost his sight to severe meningitis. Currently working as education officer at the Special Education Unit, Brunei Ministry of Education, he said:

‘The challenges that come with a disability are usually self-imposed and only you alone can choose to rise above it. While I am blessed to have an extremely supportive family and a great bunch of friends to support me with my aspirations, it still boils down to the individual to take that crucial step forward. There was a time when I felt hopeless after losing my eyesight, but I soon realised that it’s not what happens to us that makes or breaks us, it’s what we do after that that counts. So I decided to pick myself up, took a leap of faith to move on and turned the situation around. There’s been no turning back since.’

After having previously received the National Youth ICT award and the ASEAN Youth award, Norali was granted a Chevening Scholarship in 2012 and pursued an MA in Inclusive Education and Technology at King’s College London. In response to his achievements, the UK High Commissioner to Brunei said:

‘Blind since the age of 17, Norali is an inspirational individual. He used his Chevening studies to benefit his work with the Ministry of Education, where he helps people with disabilities through better technology use. He also took full advantage of his UK experience to pursue his sporting passions. With other Chevening Scholars, he took part in the British 10K London Run to raise money for charity.’

This year Norali’s goal is to join his first triathlon. In preparation for this challenge, he has already started a regular training programme.