From left: ex-national bowler Shalin Zulkifli, ex-national squash player Ong Beng Hee and ex-national cyclist M.Kumarasen at the media launch of SportExcel Silver Jubilee Celebrations 2016 at Royal Selangor Club, Bukit Kiara. - RAYMOND OOI/ The STAR
PETALING JAYA: SportExcel, the Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence, was established on April 8, 1991 with one aim: to focus solely on junior development and fuel the dreams of thousands of young talent.
Now, as SportExcel celebrated its silver jubilee at the Royal Selangor Club Sports Annex in Bukit Kiara on Wednesday, it can take pride from the fact that it has helped thousands of young athletes achieve their dreams in the last 25 years.
SportExcel founding chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar said that the foundation is today the only organisation in Malaysia that serves as development with emphasis on excellence.
“I feel great satisfaction and pride in knowing that we have actually helped thousands of young Malaysian athletes chase their dream of being stars on the world stage.
“One shining example is eight-time squash world champion Nicol David, who featured in the SportExcel junior circuit,” said Tunku Imran, who is also Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president.
Other distinguished SportExcel alumni included Esther Cheah (bowling), Jeffrey Ong (swimming), Shalin Zulkifli (bowling), M. Kumaresan (cycling), Nur Herman Majid (athletics), Ben Leong (golf) and Arul Suppiah, who played county cricket in England.
SportExcel organises junior circuits for 12 sports – golf, bowling, cricket, cycling, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), sepak takraw, shooting, squash, swimming, taekwondo, tennis and athletics – a year.
Tunku Imran said that SportExcel received sponsorships of about RM700,000 a year from its chartered members to organise the 13 circuits and that to date more than a RM1mil has been given out under its financial aid programme.
“We hope to get more chartered members as we want to raise more money this year to help as many juniors as we can to achieve their dreams,” said Tunku Imran.
“SportExcel also has an international reach in golf, working on junior reciprocal programmes with seven countries – namely India, China, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. We hope to do the same with other sports in the future,” said Tunku Imran.