Hafiz on a new mission

Job complete: Hafiz Hashim’s contract with BAM has ended at the end of last year.

PETALING JAYA: Former All-England champion Hafiz Hashim is looking forward to a new coaching stint in India and one of his immediate tasks is handling P.V. Sindhu for her All-England assault next month.

Hafiz, who resigned from his position as the junior coach with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) at the end of last year, has accepted an offer from the Suchitra Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.

The 40-year-old will now guide both the men and women’s singles shuttlers.

Hafiz will assist India’s top women’s singles shuttler Sindhu, who was originally from the academy, as she gears up for the All-England from March 14-19.

“I received an offer from the director of the academy, Pradeep Raju last year but I turned it down as I was still under contract with BAM,” said Hafiz, who joined the national body in 2018.

“When my contract ended at the end of last year, he approached me again and I accepted it.

“Initially, my plan was to focus on developing my academy (Hashim Badminton Academy) further but this offer was too good to turn down.

“The director also asked me to provide some assistance to Sindhu for the All-England.

“I will not be her coach but will share my experience and help her in any way I can.

“Although Sindhu is now part of the Indian national team, she still trains at the academy about once or twice a week.”

Hafiz, who had memorably captured the All-England in 2003, has signed a two-year contract with the academy and will start work tomorrow.

“I’m looking forward to this new chapter which will be my first coaching stint overseas,” said Hafiz.

“This will be a good challenge as I need to learn how to handle different types of players in another country.

“I hope to become a better coach with this new assignment,” he added.

Hafiz is the second coach from the national junior set-up to resign and accept an opportunity abroad after Vountus Indra Mawan, and the third to do so within a span of one month.

Former player Goh Giap Chin has taken up a coaching offer with China’s Guangxi Province earlier this month.

Vountus, who was the Under-18 doubles coach and Datuk Misbun Sidek’s assistant, resigned in January and has taken up a position in Australia as the head coach of Badminton Victoria and the national head coach’s assistant.

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