This week we met up with ISKL parent Bjorn H-J, who won second place in the ISKL Annual Prowlathon fundraiser last month, having cycled* (converted into its equivalent in running distances) and hiked a total combined distance of 120.70 km over seven days!

Bjorn, a stay-at-home dad, and his wife Kine have two sons who started at ISKL last September 2020, Elliot in Prep Senior and Nikolai in Grade 6. They come from a small town in the north of Norway called Vadsø, with a population of only 6000 people and moved to Kuala Lumpur last August, and this is their first year living abroad. 

Apart from his dad duties, Bjorn does some work with a company developing an app, writing articles for them, and enjoys cycling!

Here is his story.

“I was pretty surprised and happy when I saw my name on the ISKL Prowlathon leaderboard, finding out I was in the Top 3! I wasn’t even trying to win anything as I was logging in the kilometers from the rides I did.

“I joined the Prowlathon as a friend of mine here is into road bikes and cycling and persuaded me to come to ride with him. I borrowed one of his bikes and tried it a couple of times. At first, the traffic in KL was terrifying, but it was great fun, and after a couple of rides, I decided to buy my own bike! Since December, I’ve been riding regular trips in and around the city, so when I heard about the Prowlathon, I thought it would be a fun way to log my kilometers.

‘I didn’t need any other motivation during the Prowlathon other than just going out and making my bike trips. I usually go out almost every day, and it’s a great way to get some exercise and see the surrounding city. The day after the Prowlathon finished, I did an epic 192km ride with some friends. We rode from KL, up past Batu Caves, over Sungai Tua, through Batang Kali and Kuala Kubu Bharu, and up to the GAP guest house at Bukit Fraser and all the way home again.

‘How can the Prowlathon be improved for next time? Maybe it would be best to divide the race into different categories or do the conversion differently as a 100km bike ride is much easier than a 25km walk. Also, the registration process could have been more straightforward, so more people would have joined.

‘My prize of winning the ‘Prime Parking Spot’ for the year across from the Panther Hut is a fun gesture, but we haven’t used it since we only come to campus for delivery and pick up. My advice for future Prowl-athletes is to go for it!

‘Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to experience too much of the ISKL community yet. Our kids, Nicolai and Elliot, only got a month and a half of physical schooling before the second lockdown in October. But we have been impressed by the fantastic teachers, the staff, and the fantastic way they have coped with online learning.

‘Our sons followed an online school program (Continuous Learning) from August 2020 up until they started physical school at the beginning of September last year. One of my best moments at ISKL was when my son, Elliot, came to school the first day and met Ms. Pamela Schaefer in person (he had only met his teacher virtually); he just lit up like a Christmas tree – I think he was almost starstruck!

‘What I like most about ISKL are the great teachers and the fantastic campus. Ever since the first day, our son Elliot and Nikolai have thrived at school and are looking forward to going back every day even though neither spoke much English when we first moved to Malaysia.

‘We are certainly looking forward to eventually coming as a family to school events on campus and looking forward to traveling in and around Malaysia once things go back to normal – we hope to invite friends from home to show them this beautiful country.”

What does “Be All You Are” mean to you?

“Work hard and do the absolute best you can do. If you try hard, you can even surprise yourself with what you are capable of!”

“I can’t say that I look up to any particular athlete or sports person as I’m not that into sports. However, I’m more impressed by single achievements and the amazing abilities of people.”

Do you know a student, faculty, staff, or alumni with a story to tell? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions to panthersofISKL.
To find out more inspiring stories of our parents, read about florista Sara M. or Malaysian mom, Azlina K!