The real deal for the juniors

PENANG Badminton Association’s (PBA) efforts on developing young talents have earned them the continued support of their prime sponsor Gosen Japan.

The Osaka-based company dealing in badminton equipment and apparels has been coughing out RM388,888 in sponsorship annually for the last five years.

Gosen, represented by Co Ltd Japan president Kaoru Sakai and his general manager Masato Tanaka, extended the company’s sponsorship for another five years.

Sakai said he was impressed with what PBA had done, particularly their development projects of young potentials in the state.

“We have been partners with PBA since 2010 and if the results produced by the association especially in the annual National Junior circuit are anything to go by, it clearly reflects on the able leadership of president Dr Koay (Ban Hing),” said Sakai.

“I am extremely impressed with the association’s facilities, their junior development programme as well as the dedication of team officials when I toured the association’s training centre. I feel very proud to be associated with PBA.

“We extend and enhance our collaboration with PBA for the next five years because of our confidence in PBA.”

Sakai said he had a new ‘weapon’ to arm the young talents in their campaigns.

“This weapon is our latest G-Tone 5 badminton strings, developed and manufactured by our Gosen factory in Japan.

“Though a new product, it has been put through numerous test and the feedback received has been very positive. I am confident this can help the Penang Juniors in their pursuit for glory at the National Junior circuit.

“I am certain G-Tone 5 will serve the young players well,” said Sakai.

Koay was overwhelmed by Gosen’s confirmation in extending support.

“With Gosen showing confidence in us, they can rest assured that we will not let them down,” Koay said after Sakai’s announcement of the recent five-year sponsorship extension.

“I’m also confident this will inspire our coaches as well as our young players into striving for more success at the National Junior circuit, as a gesture of appreciation to Gosen for their continued support as well as living up to their expectations.”

Sakai’s support for PBA is not without basis as the results delivered by Penang, particularly at their national juniors challenge, is impressive indeed.

In the National Junior circuit, Penang was the North Zone champions the last five years.

The good showing by the Penang juniors at these North Zone challenges also saw the players retaining the ‘Most Participants’ trophy as well as the ‘Best Achievement’ trophy in the Grand Prix finals for the past few years.

PBA’s success in developing talents is also reflected by two of their top junior stars – Goh Jin Wei and Cheam June Wei.

The 14-year-old Jin Wei is a joy to watch, taking on and giving older Bukit Jalil Sports School players like Ho Yen Mei, S. Kisona, Lee Yin Yin, Lee Zii Yii, Yap Rui Chen and M. Thinaah a tough time.

Her performances led her to be roped into the National Juniors side, along with Yen Mei, Kisona and Ying Ying for the World Juniors last year.

Due credit must also be given to PBA’s Chinese coach Deng Lei, who led in building up the abilities of the young talents.

He was also instrumental in charting Jin Wei’s progress after roping her into the development programme.

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