PETALING JAYA: Chinese Zhou Kejian, the longest serving foreign badminton coach in Malaysia, parted ways with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to be with his family after being here for more than 11 years.
The 53-year-old , whose last job with BAM was as chief coach of the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) badminton Academy, has been offered a job as national coach in Macau.
The offer also comes with permanent resident (PR) status for Kejian and his family.
I have been away from my family for a very long time. I had a great time in Malaysia but it is time for me to be with my family. I had to take up this offer, said Kejian, who will be leaving next month.
Kejian is one coach who has had no trouble with the BAM throughout his stay here and was instrumental in the rise of players like doubles specialist Chan Chong Ming, Jeremy Gan and Yeoh Kay Bin,
Since joining BAM, I had given my full concentration in my job. I focused on the junior players and many had showed improvement, he said.
He said his best achievement as a coach was to produce two world junior champions in 1998.
We won the boys' doubles and mixed doubles title at the World Junior Championships in 1998. Our boys' singles also finished as a runner-up. That was the best achievement for Malaysia in the world junior meet, said Kejian.
At the world junior meet in Melbourne, Chong Ming-Teok Kok Seng emerged as the boys doubles champion while Malaysia won the mixed doubles through Chong Ming-Joanne Quay. Kay Bin finished as the boys' singles runner-up.
After coaching the national team for a year, Kejian took charge of the Academy players from 1992-1998. Under his tenure, players like James Chua, Chong Ming, Kay Bin, Sairul Amar Ayob, Jeremy and Kok Seng, began to show improvement. Then, under the supervision of Dane Morten Frost, Kejian took charge of the national women players from 1998-2000.
When he was placed as the head of the BJSS badminton players, he also groomed local coaches like Yap Kim Hock, Pang Cheh Chang and Rosman Razak.
In absence now, Chinese Sun Chenhua is expected to take over the chief coach job.