Young shuttlers shine in finals

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 26 Oct 2019

Education Ministry Sports, Co-curriculum and Arts Division director Zainal Abas (second row, left), (second row, from third right) deputy director-general Dr Ahmad Rafee Che Kassim, Zainal and Perak Education director Dr Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Ali with the overall state and Federal Territory champions, the Kuala Lumpur contingent, as well as their coaches and coordinators.

THE Perodua-MOE Badminton Talent Development Programme (BTDP) ended its second edition with the emergence of 14 young national champions.

As a collaboration between the Education Ministry and Perodua, the national finals at the Arena Badminton Perak in Ipoh saw 224 finalists from all over the country in 11 categories competing over four days.“Launched in February 2018, the BTDP is a five-year human capital development programme that aims to find and cultivate future Malaysian badminton talent among primary schoolchildren, in the hope that they can play for our country one day, ” said Perodua president and chief executive officer Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

The 2019 programme kicked off in March with 140 coaches training 2,800 primary schoolchildren at 70 identified badminton development centres nationwide.

There were only eight categories last year involving nine to 11 year olds.

This year, 12-year-olds were included in three additional categories –- boys’ singles, girls’ singles and, for the first time, mixed doubles.

The student athletes progressed through competitions at centre as well as state and Federal Territory levels to qualify for the national finals.

“The great thing about the BTDP is that it does not just focus on the students capabilities on court.

During training, we also try to instil values such as respect, discipline, determination, sportsmanship, punctuality, humility and cleanliness of self as well as surroundings, ” Zainal explained.

“Most of all, we encourage them to live a balanced lifestyle of sports, studies and family in equal measure. We believe it is best to start young.

“Some of these children are not from well-to-do families and have never touched a badminton racquet before this.

“As a proud Malaysian company, Perodua is very happy to be working with the ministry to potentially change the lives of these children.

“They have been given the chance to represent their schools, states and, soon, our country like we did last year.

“We hope to fly our young champions to Tokyo, Japan early next year to go up against their counterparts from Japan and Indonesia at the Three Countries Junior Badmin-ton Competition hosted and organised by Daihatsu Motor Company of Japan, ” he said.

Zainal congratulated and thanked the pupils for participating in BTDP 2019.

“Their resilience, skills and potential are evident.

“We are proud of them and are confident they will go on to achieve greatness for the nation, ” he added.

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