Photos by UU BAN
FORMER international squash player Sandra Wu has decided to go to the grassroots.
The three-time Asian junior champion opted not to renew her contract with the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM).
Instead, Wu has teamed up with Singapore's former international Della Lee and formed Ultimate Squasher to conduct coaching clinics and training programmes for young children.
“I have served SRAM for almost two years. Now the time has come for me to move on. I would like to devote my time to groom more players. We have decided to go to schools in the Klang Valley and Perak to encourage more children to take up squash,'' said Sandra.
Recently, both conducted a coaching clinic at SK Taman Desa.
About 500 children attended the programme. The pupils were given the opportunity to test their skills against a portable rebound wall using mini racquets and foam balls.
Sandra said the rebound wall is used extensively in Europe for mini squash.
“We have imported two sets from England. Our aim is to get the children to enjoy the game before moving to the competitive stage,'' she said.
The children were also given the chance to be involved in the activities created by Sandra and Della.
There were two stations - running and ball hitting- to evaluate the students. They had to go through the stations for Sandra and her team to monitor the children's agility and speed.
Sandra has also invited national juniors Valentino Bong, Nesserine Ariffin and Fatin Balqis Suhaimi to share their experience with the children.
SK Taman Desa co-curriculum teacher B. Vejaya said they are supportive of pupils being involved in sporting activities.
“Our pupils had excelled in the recent UPSR with 32 pupils scoring five As. Several of our pupils had also done well in sports. We would encourage our pupils to join Ultimate Squasher regular training programme,'' he said. Wilson and Vitagen were the supporters of the programme.
After the training sessions, pupils who answered questions relating to squash correctly were rewarded with prizes from Vitagen and Wilson.
Sandra said they have planned to organise similar coaching programmes in three other schools in the Klang Valley and two in Perak.
“We have also received invitations to conduct clinics in Singapore. So we hope more young children will come forward to take up squash,'' she said.
Ultimate Squasher training programmes are held on weekends at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
For more details on the programme, call 012-234 7122 or 012-388 1449.