PETALING JAYA: National shuttlers have an extra reason to smile now that prize money will be offered for the internal tournament.
In an unprecedented and one-off move, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have decided to dangle the carrot to spice up their tournament as a goodwill gesture for their national senior and junior players.
And there is more good news too – instead of hosting only one as planned in August, they will organise another with a similar monetary reward in September to keep their players motivated and competitive.
Just a day ago, former doubles legend Datuk Razif Sidek had suggested to the national body to make the internal tournament exciting by including prize money as he felt the financial incentive would be timely.
Players had been demoralised without any tournaments due to the Covid-19 pandemic and their source of income had also been affected. They, however, still do get their monthly allowance from the national body.
BAM’s coaching and training committee chairman Kenny Goh said they would give out prize money but did not state the quantum.
“We had discussed about it earlier and we’ve decided to offer prize money. As our National Championships has been postponed due to the virus, we can now channel the money into this internal tournament, ” said Kenny.
“The ultimate goal is to keep the players motivated and competitive. We’ll also organise another leg in September as all the international tournaments in that month have also been called off.
“The prize money is an additional incentive as we’re aware that some players are down during this trying time. It won’t be much but it’s something to keep them in high spirits.
“As our juniors have rejoined the training sessions, we may also include them in the internal tournament.”
Kenny, who is also the BAM secretary, also added that they wanted to keep their badminton fans happy.
“I know our fans are starved of badminton action. We’ve plans to air these local matches live on television but if that does not work out, we will show it via live streaming, ” he added.
The planned tournaments are part of the team’s preparation for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals from Oct 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark.