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Wednesday March 28, 2012

Tunku Imran urges private sector to invest in SportExcel

KUALA LUMPUR: Nicol David honed her squash skills playing in the SportExcel circuits when she was younger and today she is the most outstanding athlete Malaysia has ever produced.

And now, SportExcel chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar has urged the private sector to invest in SportExcel to help them produce more players like Nicol David to keep the Malaysian flag flying high on the international stage.

“To achieve this, we need to invest more resources, with finance being the pertinent factor,” he said.

“This is where the private sector can make a difference. They have a responsibility towards Malaysian sports and its future, with talent development the key to it.”

He was speaking at the “An evening with Datuk Nicol David” event at the Royal Selangor Club in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

It was organised to garner support from the private sector for SportExcel, for whom six-time world champion Nicol is the brand ambassador.

Tunku Imran also held up Nicol as an example of how investing in junior talents can bear rich dividends in the future.

“It has been a struggle over the years for SportExcel to manage the various circuits with limited financial resources,” he said.

“That’s why we have organised this event today to directly approach the private sector and get them to recognise the niche role that SportExcel has been playing in the context of Malaysian sport.”

He said that from the time that SportExcel was established 21 years ago, it has helped nurture world champions like Nicol, Esther Cheah and Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore (bowling) into world champions.

The SportExcel-NSC-Milo Junior circuits have grown from a single event in golf to a now astonishing 12 sports. The other sports are swimming, gymnastics, sepaktakraw, squash, bowling, shooting, cricket, tennis, taekwondo and athletics.

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