STARTING out at an early age in playing badminton was certainly the way to go for the 300-odd youngsters who took part in the recent SP Setia Badminton Tournament at the academy in Setia Alam, Shah Alam.
Setia Badminton Academy chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said the tournament, currently in its fourth year, has been successful in unearthing and developing young talents.
“Some of the students who have graduated from the academy are now training with the national squads,” added Hwa Beng, during the finals of the tournament.
He said youngsters are the future hope for the country, hence it was important to unearth and develop their talent from young.
“Encouragement from parents is without doubt the vital ingredient in nurturing future champions. Without them, it will be difficult for the youngsters to go far as they rely a lot on their parents for support, drive them for training and to cheer them during competitions,” said Hwa Beng
He added that the academy, helmed by former world champion Han Jian of China as its chief coach, has a total 300 trainees under its care.
The three-day tournament was open to students below the age of 15. They were divided into different age groups for both boys and girls.
Participants of the tournament were not only from the Klang valley but also from Malacca, Johor, Kedah, Penang, Pahang, Perak and Singapore.
Under-10: Chia Wei Jie bt Tai Chuan Zhe 21-6, 21-12
Under-11: Leong Jun Hao bt Boon Xin Yuan 21-15, 21-11
Under-12: Thinaah Muralitharan bt Leong Jun Hao 19-21, 21-15, 21-11
Under-13: Chea Cheng Jing bt Peh Shin Jin 21-10, 21-12
Under-14: Chua Khek Wei bt Lim Zhan Le 21-14, 21-19
Under-11: Ng Win Win bt Tan Sueh Jeou (21-19, 21-15)
Under-13: Lee Shun En bt K. Birentha (w/o)