Ex-national junior shuttler heads to Qatar on dual mission

PETALING JAYA: Former national junior shuttler V. Roobenraj (pic) will create history by becoming the first Malaysian to coach in the Middle East and will also use the opportunity to revive his career as a professional player in Qatar.

The 22-year-old will join the New Vision Badminton Club in Doha on a one-year contract from Oct 20 to train their juniors.

“I am so excited at the prospect of playing for and coaching a club in Qatar. I have high ambitions to be a world champion one day.

“It will be a huge new experience for me to take my game to the next level. Thanks to the experience during my time with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), this is a stepping stone for me to explore new frontiers in my game,” he said yesterday.

Despite being a first-time coach, the Kulim-born shuttler is ready to give 100% commitment to make his dream turned into a reality and is grateful for the efforts made by the Malaysian Indian Badminton Association (MIBA) president Datuk V. Radhakrishnan for helping him to further improve his career in Qatar.

Roobenraj, who is a final-year student at a private university, graduated from the Bukit Jalil Sports School and trained under former national coaches such as Jeremy Gan, Cheah Soon Kit and Rosman Razak when he was with BAM from 2017 to 2018.

Meanwhile, Radhakrishan said the Qatar Badminton Association (QBA) reached out to MIBA through a third party looking for someone to train their youngsters in a bid to produce top players by 2030.

“Roobenraj’s salary will be handled by Qatar and he will be under a one-year contract, with an option to extend for another year,” he said, adding that Roobenraj would complete his studies via online.

Radhakrishan revealed that MIBA had received tremendous response and inquiries from Indian parents keen on their children following in the footsteps of national women shuttlers S. Kisona, M. Thinaah and K. Letshanaa, who featured in the Sudirman Cup and the ongoing Uber Cup competitions. — Bernama

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