$mashing move

Holding court: Part of the money will be used to run the Academy Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have declared they are on course to become the “most financially healthy” national sports association – with a surplus of RM30mil – in the next couple of years.

This comes after they have boosted their coffers with RM52mil by disposing their property in Taman Maluri, Cheras, which housed their previous Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in the 1990s.

BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria announced yesterday that the Council had unanimously endorsed the property sale to Taylor’s Education Group (TEG), who runs the Taylor’s International School Kuala Lumpur (TISKL).

BAM had been renting out the land for RM1.2mil per annum.

But they felt it was time to sell the property to fund the operations of the present ABM in Bukit Kiara and provide the much-needed war chest for the national team’s bid to become the sport’s powerhouse once again.

“Over the last few years, we have been approached by Taylor’s on many occasions over their interest to buy the land, ” said Norza, after chairing the BAM’s postponed Annual General Meeting for 2020 and first Council Meeting of the year at the ABM yesterday.

“We eventually decided to sell it and we have done it through an open tender.

“Taylor’s was the only bidder with an offer of RM52mil and we accepted it.

“The Council believe that our core business is supposed to be developing badminton in the country (rather than collecting rental) and it’s imperative we raise enough funds to run our state-of-the-art centre of excellence in Bukit Kiara.

“The government will only support the ABM until the end of this year and we will have to be financially independent from 2022 onwards.”

Norza went on to detail how the BAM intend to put the sale proceeds to good use.

“Besides paying off the creditors, BAM would channel the proceeds to set up a foundation meant for a few purposes, ” he said.

“The first is to run the ABM efficiently while establishing a business model to make it self-sustainable in the long run. If the academy is well run, then we will be able to attract more major sponsors on board and monetise them.

“We’re also looking to set up more academies in other parts of Malaysia, one of my visions when I first came in as president.

“We also strive to allocate funds to create badminton scholarships for young and talented players as well as looking after the welfare of our current and former players.

“Hopefully, after executing all these plans, BAM will go on to become the most financially healthy national sports association. We’re looking at a surplus of more than RM30mil.

“By having these resources, then our strategic plans for the national team in the next two Olympics cycles – Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 – will be well supported.”

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