MALACCA: A Squash Appreciation Nite was organised at the Malacca Club Rotunda Complex in Tanjong, recently, in gratitude for the ongoing support and guidance from respective parents and senior family members whose children undertook an all year round training and coaching sessions with the Malacca Squash Rackets Association (MSRA) nursery.
With MSRA’s 2012 competitions calendar recording the best ever results since its inception in the late 70s, players who did the state proud at national and international competitions were awarded certificates, tokens, personalised track suits and blazers.
Parents and coaches were also rewarded with appreciation plaques, momentos and hampers.
A spokesperson for the event disclosed that it was an honour to reward players and their parents for joint efforts in churning out grand performances on courts within the country and overseas.
Since securing a hefty RM250,000 three-year sponsorship and the reliance of two Pakistani coaches since the middle of last year, local squash has been going great guns with a promise of more favourable achievements slated for the new year, the spokesperson added.
The high point of the past year was Malacca’s win in the Boys Un-der -12 team at the Nicol David- Ong Beng Hee Challenge Trophy Championships in Kuching. Malacca defeated favourites Selangor 2-1 in the final.
To top it all, Wang Peng Soon added more glory when he toppled top seed Kedah’s Mohd Hafiz Zafri 11-9;11-13;11-6;11-5 to bag the Boys Elite singles title.
Among the other youngsters who brought honour and pride to the state included Andrik Lim Khai Shan, Nurdiyana Laili, Adam Agan Aziz, Nur Waffiah and Syarifah Aishah Md. Asrin.
Donning national junior colours for the first time in 2012, they bagged titles at the Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore age group tournaments in the Boys and Girls Under-11 and 13 age groups in both open and plate competitions.
On the national front, Andrik stood out most prominently. Turning nine late last year, he captured the national junior first and second leg circuits, grand finals and was also declared the overall champion.
At the National Squash Junior Circuit and playing against more senior opponents, Andrik took home the Plate title.
He was also awarded the CIMB Junior Squash Development Pro-gramme Excellent Performance award along with the CIMB National Junior Circuit Rising Star award.
For the records, since the MSRA’s establishment, Malacca was the fi-rst state in the country to launch its very own nursery development scheme for potentials in the Under-7 and categories where coaching and training stints conducted all year round.
Several years later, an elite division was added on where talents like Jay Lim, Ang Tiang Chwee, Victor and sister Violet Soh and stamped their mark on the national junior and age group scene. In the late 80s, Sharon Wee, a product from the scheme did Malacca proud by turning professional along with Nicol David. At the height of her playing career she emerged into the world women’s top 20 ranking list. before calling it a day two years ago.