Ready to embrace the new

Thankful: Cheam June Wei considers the BAM as his ‘second family’.

PETALING JAYA: Singles shuttler Cheam June Wei is looking for a fresh start after ending his stint with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) without much success.

“Maybe I need a different experience and environment to revive my badminton career,” said June Wei.

The 24-year-old has resigned from the national body after spending six years with the senior team.

“It’s the hardest decision I’ve made to leave BAM. I’ve been with them since I was 14 (starting with the sports school) and they are like my second family,” he said.

“But after considering it for some time, I’ve decided to move forward and look for new exposure.

“I’ve submitted the resignation letter but I still do have some discussions with the coaches (Hendrawan and coaching director Wong Choong Hann).

“I must admit that I did not perform well this year.”

The world No, 71 took part in five tournaments this year - Orleans Masters, Spain Masters, Thomas Cup Finals in Finland, Czech Open and Belgium International - but unfortunately, his displays were nothing to shout about.

His juniors like Ng Tze Yong and Lee Zii Jia have overtaken him in the world ranking and stature too but June Wei has a good reason for his slow progress.

“Many things happened since the beginning of this year and maybe, I didn’t handle it well,” he lamented.

“And then I was down with Covid-19 and that took me away from training for three months. I only trained for six weeks before the Thomas Cup Finals.

“I know deep in my heart that my level of game is still there... I just lack preparation. Anyway, all these are in the past. I’m looking forward now.

“I’ll continue to play as I still believe that I can.”

The former national Under-18 champion, who also lost some time before the Covid-19 pandemic due to injury, is grateful to all who had played their part in his growth from a junior to a senior player.

“Playing in my first Thomas Cup Finals is special. And beating some of the top players during the Thomas Cup qualifiers in Manila last year will always be memorable,” said June Wei.

“I want to thank BAM president Tan Sri Norza (Zakaria) and all my coaches for giving me many opportunities since I was young.

“I will not forget my friends and family members for standing by me, and especially Mr How (Kim Tho). He has been like a father to me since I joined BAM, and giving all juniors the support we need. Thank you.

“It’s sad to leave but I’m excited too, to see what the future holds for me.”

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