By Y.P. SIVAMsivam@thestar.com.my
ULTIMATE Squasher has decided to go to schools to scout for new talents in squash. In the past, Ultimate Squasher, helmed by former international Sandra Wu and Singapore international Della Lee, had recruited members at the centres in National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil and the Raintree Club in Kuala Lumpur.
However, both felt it was wise to go to the school to promote squash among students. And on Wednesday, the duo, accompanied by a group national senior and junior players, spent almost four hours at the SMK Seri Saujana in Seri Petaling.
About 1,000 students, from Form One and Form Two, attended the programme. Wu, a three-time Asian junior champion, said they were encouraged by the response.
“If they don’t come to us, then we should go to them. The idea is to give the students an opportunity to know more about squash. We have created several activities to test their skills,'' said Wu.
There were two stations – running and ball hitting – to evaluate the students. They had to go through the stations. Wu and her team monitored the students' agility and speed.
“We have invited the students for our weekend training sessions at the National Squash Centre. We have received a lot of positive feedback from the students,'' said Wu.
SMK Seri Saujana co-curriculum teacher Latifah Yusof said they were grateful to the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) and Ultimate Squasher for taking the initiative to spend time with the students.
“We encourage our students to be active in sports. Squash is a sports associated with Malaysians. We also have top players like Nicol David, Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee. We would like our students also to excel in squash. We would be happy to see our students taking part in state tournaments,'' said Latifah.
SRAM executive director Wong Ah Jit said Ultimate Squasher have taken a bold step in bringing the game to school.
“This is the first time we have come to a school to promote squash. We certainly would be happy to see some of the students taking up squash competitively. We were surprised with the students' enthusiasm,'' said Wong.
Wilson and Vitagen were the supporters of the programme.
Nicol's squash matches were also screened during the programme.
After the training sessions, students who answered questions relating to squash correctly were rewarded with prizes from Vitagen and Wilson.
For more details on Ultimate Squasher training programme, call 012-2347122 or 012-3881449.