KUALA LUMPUR: It's ang pow time for the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM). In a space of only four days, they have secured a whopping RM3.4 million in sponsorships from two companies.
Mulpha International Bhd had pledged a generous RM2.5 million for the next four years on Saturday when they launched the Squash Academy in Penang. They have also pledged to sponsor grassroots tournaments and also supply equipment.
Yesterday, Country View, a property company, pledged a further RM300,000 a year for three years.
With the sponsorships, SRAM have created history of sorts in Malaysian sports. They are the only association to have three big sponsors. The other sponsors are YTL Corporation who have been their Rakan Sukan partner since 1996.
YTL have provided RM500,000 a year for the last eight years. The contract will end this year.
Mulpha International Bhd director Denis Low and Country View chairman Al Amin Majid signed the contracts with SRAM president Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir at the Sports Ministry yesterday.
Mokhzani said they were really grateful to the two companies.
It's great to have three corporate sponsors for squash. The success of our players at world level is one of the reasons why we are the first sports association to get three sponsors.
SRAM have produced two world class players in Ong Beng Hee and Nicol David. Beng Hee, now based in London, is ranked eighth in the world while, Nicol, the three-time Asian women champion, was ranked 16th in the world last year before she took a break.
Mokhzani said the sponsorship they received would be used to achieve their target of producing more world class players.
We are dead serious in our training programme and hope to win major titles by the 2006 Commonwealth Games and also the World Championships.''
Beng Hee and Nicol, both from Penang, were the first Malaysian players to win a silver medal in the mixed doubles event in the Manchester Commonwealth Games last August.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who witnessed the signing, said the SRAM have done an excellent job to present themselves as a fit association.
I would like the other sports associations to emulate SRAM and woo potential corporate sponsors.
The next sport to get sponsors will be karate-do after their excellent performance in international meets,'' said Hishammuddin.
S. Premila became the first Malaysian karate exponent to win a bronze medal in the womens kumite Open category in the World Championships in Madrid last November.
The 23-year-old Premila and fellow karate exponent R. Puvaneswaran both also bagged gold medals in the Asian Games in Busan last October.