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Tuesday November 20, 2007

Kids learn basic badminton skills


weiloon@thestar.com.my 

THE young trainees under the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) Employees' Sports Club's one-month introductory badminton coaching programme may not have mastered the basic shuttling skills yet, but the 20 primary school pupils, aged between 10 and 12 years, are making up for whatever they lack in finesse with their abundance of energy on court.  

Following the one-day Under-12 singles tournament for boys and girls organised by HUKM in September, budding shuttlers from five schools around the Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras vicinity – SK Taman Midah 1, SK Taman Midah 2, SK Bandar Tun Razak 1, SK Bandar Tun Razak 2 and SK Sri Tasik – were selected to join the training under HUKM coach P. Kantharoopan.  

Basic skills: Kantha (left) guiding SK Bandar Tun Razak 1 pupil Khairul Najuwa Sholahuddin, 12, while the other trainees and Jasmi (in orange) look on.
Kantha said they were offering the youngsters the opportunity to pick up the right fundamentals.  

“For a start, the schools in the area do not have proper facilities or the expertise to groom them. We are helping the youngsters by teaching them the basic skills, such as the correct grip and footwork. Besides allowing them to enjoy playing on court, we also teach them the proper stretching techniques. It is too early to evaluate their progress because they are still learning,” he added.  

Kantha: 'We are offering them the opportunity to pick up the right fundamentals.'
This month, the HUKM Employees' Sports Club are providing them with a two-hour training session at the Bandar Tun Razak Community Centre badminton hall every Wednesday free of charge.  

Mohd Syafiq Suhaimi, 11, from SK Sri Tasik, was elated to be given more time on court to spar with his peers.  

“I took up badminton a year ago. I like playing the game,” said Syafiq, who finished third in the boys' singles at the recent HUKM Under-12 junior meet.  

The club's manager, Jasmi Ali, said their committee members would discuss the plan to continue the programme next month (December) as a school holiday activity for the children. 

“We have also approached the five schools and informed them of our intention to conduct training sessions for their pupils next year. To sustain and fund the initiative, either we will need to a find a sponsor or the trainees will have to pay a nominal fee,” added Jasmi.  

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