NATIONAL No. 1 women’s singles shuttler Soniia Cheah is the new ambassador for Solibad – Badminton Without Borders – which focuses on charity work.
“I’m thrilled to join many others under the Solibad banner. Sports bring people together and I’m happy to be able to contribute to those who need it,” said the 23-year-old.
Charity is something close to Soniia’s heart.
Every month since January, she has been donating milk and pampers to a nearby orphanage in her neighbourhood.
“This is something that I like to do. It makes others happy and it makes me happy too,” she said.
Soniia is one of 11 other badminton stars selected to join Solibad, an international foundation that started its programme for underprivileged children in 2009.
The others are Rio Olympic Games silver medallist Goh Liu Ying, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li of Canada, Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, India’s K. Srikanth, South Korea’s Chang Ye-na, world and Olympic champion Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, Thailand’s Sapsiree Taerattaanachai-Puttita Supajirakul and Denmark’s Rio Olympic silver medallists Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen.
There are more than 100 official Solibad ambassadors.
Soniia, however, will not be in a charitable mood when she leads the Malaysian women’s team in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games opening game against Myanmar at the Axiata Arena today.
Malaysia should win to set up an interesting battle against Indonesia in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
It’ll be a special moment for Soniia to play in the Games.
“In just one year, I’ve made it to the SEA Games and to top it all I’ll be playing as first singles. That’s a personal achievement for me,” said Soniia, who ruptured her Achilles tendon in 2013 and was out of action for more than a year.
“Not many know the difficulties I went through. It was tough. I’m injury-free now and I’m only looking forward.
“The team have prepared well and we’ll give all our opponents a good fight. Indonesia will be our biggest challengers.”
The others in the team are Goh Jin Wei, Ho Yen Mei, Lee Ying Ying, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Chow Mei Juan-Lee Meng Yean, Shevon Lai Jemie and Cheah Yee See.
- See our full coverage of SEA Games 2017