KUALA LUMPUR: Former Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaches Rashid Sidek and Rosman Razak are back in business with a private academy.
The two, who left BAM after turning down two-year contracts last month, are the singles and doubles head coaches for the Sports Affairs Academy’s (SAA) elite team.
And SAA president Raezal Hussein (pic) has spelt out what he expects from them: help Mohd Arif Abdul Latif to a podium finish at the Singapore SEA Games next month and a spot in the Rio Olympics next year.
“I have high expectations and they (Rashid and Rosman) understand that. They will be in charge of the professional development of our elite team.
“We’re targeting a podium finish for Arif in the SEA Games in the singles event,” said Raezal after the launch of SAA Badminton Academy at Menara CIMB here.
Besides Arif, the other notable shuttlers in the SAA elite team are Hoon Thien How and Lim Khim Wah, who were part of the squad who finished runners-up in the 2014 Thomas Cup. Khim Wah was also last year’s Malaysian Open doubles champion with Goh V Shem.
SAA’s key initiative is the Project 2020 and Project 2024 – both involving a nation-wide talent search campaign aimed at shuttlers aged between 18 and 23.
About 15 shuttlers will be selected for each project and they will be offered a similar coaching programmes as the elite team.
“This campaign is aimed at providing a platform for aspiring talents to learn and master the sport ... and ultimately find the next star to join the SAA elite team,” said Raezal.
“At the same time, we hope to unearth Malaysia’s first Olympic champion.”
The SAA competed in the Kopiko Purple League as Cheras BC, finishing fourth in the Champions Challenge and seventh in the 12-team league.
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