THE Negri Sembilan Squash Association’s (NSSA) development programme played an instrumental role in the success of squash protege Harleein Tan at the recent British Junior Open in Birmingham, England.
Its honorary secretary S. Leelavathy said the association was very proud that Harleein, a pupil of Kolej Tuanku Jaafar in Mantin, Negri Sembilan, won the girls Under-11 category at the prestigious squash championship.
“Harleein has brought glory for Negri Sembilan and Malaysia, ” she said.
Leelavathy added that the development programme, which has been in place for nine years now, was led by Pakistani coach Zulfiqar Khan and assisted by compatriot Kashif Javed.
“Each selected player has to undergo training six days a week at the Seremban 2 squash complex, and each year, we will send our young talents to compete in the national circuit and also internationally, ” she said.
She added that the programme also produced junior talented players such as C. Ameeshenraj, Chen Yu Jie, Vimietha Prakash, Jayden Louis and V. Haneesha while the seniors were Darren Rahul, Ooi Kah Yan, Pheshant Sri Nagesh, M. Kiroshaana and Chen Yu Ng.
Ameeshenraj won the boys’ Under-15 category at the BJO last year.
Leelavathy also thanked the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia and the Youth and Sports Ministry for their support.
State youth and sports committee chairman Mohamad Taufek Abd Ghani said the ministry would spend RM5mil to build more squash courts at the Seremban 2 squash complex to produce more world-class talents
Harleein, 10, who was the joint third-fourth seed, upset second seeded Mariam Eissa of England 11-6,11-9 and 12-10. This is her maiden international title.
Harleein had also stunned top seed Jana Mohamed of Egypt 11-4,11-5,11-7 in the semi-finals.