BY AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Former national squash player Sandra Wu has been appointed as the national junior coach for the girls' team.
The 29-year-old Sandra, who donned national colours for eight years from 1990, took up the appointment on a two-year contract with the National Sports Council (NSC) last week.
The three-time Asian junior champion has had two-year experience as a coach.
“I have coached juniors in various clubs in Klang Valley. I enjoy working with the juniors and I want to pass my knowledge and experience in the game to them,” said Sandra at the National SquashCentre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
She was the first Malaysian to win the Asian junior girls' title in Sri Lanka in 1991 and went on to retain it in 1993 and 1995.
She also helped Malaysia win the team title in 1991 and 1993.
In senior competitions, Sandra was thrice the runner-up in the Asian Championships.
She lost to Singapore's Mah Li Lian in the 1992 and 1994 final and was beaten by teammate Nicol David in her last outing in 1998.
She had to quit the game because of a knee injury and missed the chance to play in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.
Sandra, who has a degree in marketing, first assignment as the national junior coach is the Asian Junior Championships, which will be played in Chennai from Jan 20-28.
“It's nice to be back to where it all began for me ... this time as a coach,” said Sandra.
Malaysia have a five-member girls' team for the outing in Chennai.
But only Siti Munirah Jusoh of Terengganu is training under Sandra in Bukit Jalil.
The top juniors, Delia Arnold and Sally Looi, are training under national women's coach Raymond Arnold while Nabilla Ariffin and Low Wee Wern are training under Allan Soyza in Penang.
After the Asian Junior Championship, Sandra will then repare the team for the world junior event in Belgium from July 21-31.
“It will be a big challenge for me to prepare a strong team for the challenges in the world championships,” she said.