Malacca: 45 children between the ages of six and ten years eagerly participated in a two-day end of year annual sponsored coaching clinic at the Malacca Badminton Association (MBA) Hall along Jalan Tengkera in keeping with the local association’s ‘catch ‘em very young’ policy.
However, MBA coaching and development committee chief coach Choy Ah Sang had reasons to lament. Despite ten girls and 35 boys participating, many primary schools particularly in the districts failed to respond.
Word had it that the Malacca Schools Sports Council made concerted efforts to inform relevant authorities and teachers about the clinic and its objectives well before the final school term holidays.
Choy said “ Many school authorities, badminton masters as well as parents do not realise that it is pertinent for players below the age of eight or nine or even younger to respond to such clinics.
Once players are 10 and above it is rather late to get them to grasp and muster the game’s fundamentals introduced and drilled by the association’s qualified coaching panel.
“The purpose of such clinics is to futher expound our ‘catch them very young’ objective. This way, young badminton talents and budding potentials can be readily identified and then exposed to further systematic training and grooming to see marked headways and impact in the game.
Promising young talents would also be drafted into the association’s Under 7, 12, 14, 16 and 18 age groups all year round Elite Coaching Schemes with worthwhile potentials sent for attachment at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to brighten hopes of becoming national junior and senior prospects”, he said.
MBA secretary Chua Soo Hock said, unlike previous programmes where the potential talents were spotted from age group competitions and then groomed at state or national levels, the clinic mode recruited talents with the support and encouragement of parents.
“We want parents to give their blessings because, apart from their indirect involvement, they can help their children stay dedicated to badminton and not switch to other sports after training for a year or two under our assoccaitoon‘s traning schemes manned by qualified coaches
At the recent clinics, Choy with assistance from local coaches Goh Kang Zhuang, Tan Gia Yong, Syed Ibrahim Syed Mohd and Jonathan Ee Kai Wern taught the young players correct techniques and performance of basic skills such as serving, net, mid-courts and baseline retrieving and returning, lobbing, smashing, net play, rallies while footwork drills and keeping fit exercises were also introduced.
Going further, the MBA is proud of its long term success attained through these annual clinics followed up by the Elite Coaching Schemes.
At the 100 Plus national Junior Circuit Zone B (2nd circuit) earlier this year, MBA trainees swept to an unprecedented 7 golds and 3 silvers.
Aaron Chia Teng Fong and Alan Winer subsequently emerged as the National Grand Prix Junior Under 14 doubles champions. The pair is now on attachment with the BJSS and prospects of joining fulltime session in 2012 looks very bright.
Currently, Malacca players attached with the BJSS include Tai An Khang, Ong Yew Sin, Koh Boon Chuen and Sim Guo Zheng (boys) along with Lee Meang Yean, Yap Cheng Wen and Anna Cheong Ching Yik (girls).
Local talents under training with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are the mixed doubles combination of Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon who have been earmarked for the 2012 London Olympics.
On top of that, Malacca’s Tay Seu Bock, Pang Cheh Chang and Jeremy Gan who are also national coaches with the BAM, were initially spotted and groomed by the MBA.
MBA president Datuk Dr. Khoo Kim Eng is one happy man. He said “Until recent times, local badminton was floundering.
“When the clincis and the Elite Coaching Schemes were launched with the support of long-term sponsorships, the state badminton scene made a positive turnaround.
“Now parents’ hopes of their children pursuing professional badminton careers while representing the state and country looks a reality prospect. Nevertheless, we still need more positive from local parents and guardians if the MBA’s role and objective are to be enhanced and fully realised.” he said.