National Goodwill Ambassador Datuk Nicol Ann David
In order for us to become positive agents for change, we must first empower ourselves with the knowledge on issues that are affecting not just us at the individual level, but the often lesser-told stories of our brothers and sisters around the world who are living in abject poverty or in zones of conflict. " – Nicol David, 2007
Reigning World No. 1 Women’s Squash Player Datuk Nicol Ann David is one of Malaysia’s most famous personalities and an ideal role model for the youth.
Petite and demure in frame, the girl nicknamed the "Duracell Bunny", her professional squash career began at the tender age of eight, becoming the first squash player to have won the World Junior title twice. In 2005 she became the youngest world champion, a title she has commendably defended since. On the court, she is extremely quick on her feet, a great retriever as well as an aggressive attacking player.
Nicol believes that the youth can, and should be, a positive force for development, peace, and democracy. Since being appointed as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador in 2002, Nicol has been rallying the public to get involved in and support the fight to eradicate global poverty in all its forms.
“This generation only holds the key to the future, but we are, in our own right, incredibly important resources to our communities,” she says.
Nicol has spoken out on many occasions on the importance of the universal values of understanding, solidarity and respect and communication across all cultures, she herself a product of a multi-cultural family.
Traveling on behalf of UNDP, she has visited project sites to see firsthand how UNDP’s development network brings about change by connecting people to knowledge, experience and resources to help them to build a better life.
Despite her international success, Nicol is also an extremely likeable person. Those who know her cite Nicol as being down-to-earth, intelligent, unspoilt by her fame, modest, well-mannered and a generally wonderful person to be with.
This year, Nicol was conferred the honorary titles of Darjah Bakti by Yang diPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin as well as Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) award which carries the title Datuk by her home state of Penang. She is believed to be the youngest person to receive the title Datuk in the state's history.
Nicol currently spends the majority of her time abroad, training for competition. When she is home, she cherishes every opportunity to get involved with UNDP’s work. Among some of her most recent activities:
- Let Us Not Turn Our Backs on Nature: Nicol Joins Field Mission to Sarawak
- UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nicol David Spotlights Role of Youths in Development
- United Nations Poster Design Competition for young people on the MDGs
- Malaysian squash star appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP Malaysia