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Thursday January 31, 2013
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
KUALA LUMPUR: There will be a bigger cash injection for budding squash juniors this year under the CIMB Junior Squash Development Programme as the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) seek to strengthen their grassroots development.
The biggest boost will be a RM200,000 grant from CIMB to SRAM to build up a team of juniors – boys and girls – to win honours in the 2016-2017 World Junior Championships. The grant is from this year to 2017.
“The whole purpose is to train players to challenge the Egyptians in the 2016 (boys) and 2017 (girls) World Junior Championships. For that reason, CIMB has been generous enough to fund RM200,000 a year just for this special project,” said SRAM president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali during the renewal of CIMB and SRAM’s sponsorship deal in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“To ensure our success at the World Juniors, we need to expose our juniors to the professional circuit at an early stage.
“Basically, we’re looking to build a team around Ng Eain Yow and Mohd Farez Izwan – two of our most promising juniors. But talented players from other states will also enjoy these benefits,” added Syed Mustaffa.
There is also good news for the category winners of this year’s CIMB National Junior Circuit Grand Finals as they will be given cash prizes as a form of motivation. Previously, the winners were given tickets to compete in the Hong Kong Junior Open.
As for the winners of the Under-17 and Under-19 events, they will be offered Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) memberships to allow them to compete in the professional circuit. They will also be put under SRAM’s Project 100, which is set up to help them to break into the top 100 rankings.
Only one Malaysian junior is ranked in the top 100. Penang’s Vanessa Raj is at No. 85.
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