PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles shuttler Tan Boon Heong believes Malaysia’s first-ever badminton league - the Kopiko Purple League – will provide the best opportunity for youngsters to strut their stuff.
The league, involving 12 teams in a round-robin format, starts on Tuesday until February next year. All the matches will be held at the Sports Arena Sentosa in Kuala Lumpur. The champions will pocket a cool RM1mil with the runner-ups taking home RM300,000 and the third-placed team RM150,000.
Each tie will have six matches – two men’s singles and men’s doubles, one women’s singles and a mixed doubles.
“This is the first time a proper league system is introduced in Malaysia. I definitely hope it will be a huge success,” said the 27-year-old Boon Heong, who will play for Kepong Badminton Club (KBC).
“There are a lot of players in Malaysia and the Purple League will provide an avenue for the youngsters to take on the country’s top players.
“It’ll give the juniors more confidence if they play well against seniors like us. I do hope they take the league matches seriously,” added Boon Heong, a world junior champion with Hoon Thien How in 2004.
Purple League chief executive officer Datuk Jack Koh said the league’s objective was to unearth new badminton talents and give youngsters a platform to shine.
“We have many promising youngsters in the country like Soo Teck Zhi, Soong Joo Ven and Cheam June Wei but they do not have many opportunities to test themselves against the top players. This league will serve that purpose,” said Jack during the official launch of the KBC on Monday.
The first match of the league will see Petaling Badminton Club take on Petaling Jaya Badminton Club at 8pm.