SBA: We won’t forsake juniors’ development plan

  • Other Sport
  • Wednesday, 21 Mar 2007


PETALING JAYA: Young badminton talent in Selangor, including Soong Joo Vern, have been given an assurance that all will be well in the development of their game. 

The Selangor Badminton Association (SBA) said yesterday that they would get to compete in upcoming junior tournaments while the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) gave a guarantee that their talent scouts would consider talented players for selection even if they were overlooked by their state. 

Coveted Cup: Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han (right) andJohor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman taking a closer look atthe Sultan Iskandar Cup that will be up for grabs in the IRDA JohorClassic later this year.

On Tuesday, the 12-year-old Joo Vern had voiced out his disappointment after the SBA decided not to send a team for the opening leg of the 100Plus National Junior Circuit, which was played from March 1-14. Selangor were down to compete in the North Zone competition in Perlis. 

He felt that not getting to compete had diminished his chances to gain a place in the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS). 

SBA deputy president Ng Thinn Huat said that Selangor would definitely send a team to the second-leg of the circuit in Kedah from May 10-13. 

“We are financially tight now and face the problem of having two committees trying to govern the state body. Still, we have continued with our state programmes,” he said. 

“Our juniors do not have to worry because we place great interest in our development programmes. We want to maintain our status as one of the top contributors of talented players for the country. 

“I have to say that the SBA did not send a team to the first-leg tournament because, at that time, the State Sports Council (SSC) wanted our players to take part in the Selangor schools competition to pick the side for the MSSM (national schools) meet.” 

On the request of several parents for their children to skip the schools competition, Thinn Huat said: “We had a meeting with the SSC. They do provide financial assistance to us (the SBA) and we decided to take part in the schools competition.” 

He added that the SBA would get their house back in order at the biennial general meeting (BGM) this month. “There were two committees but the Sports Commissioner had declared one as illegal. Things will pick up after the BGM,” he said. 

Flashback: Our report yesterday.

Meanwhile, the BAM’s general manager Kenny Goh said that talented players would not be deprived of the chance to prove their worth. 

“We understand that SBA will hold their BGM soon. We hope that things will pick up after that. As far as the players are concerned, the BAM have talent scouts going out to look for talented ones. We don’t want to miss out on future champions,” he said. 

The BAM development programme coordinator, How Kim Tho, said that four of their coaches – Koay Kar Lin, Mohd Salleh Suwandi, Li Shiwei and Choong Kee Cheong – were at the recent MSSM meet in Kuala Terengganu. 

“I hope players like Joo Vern will not be discouraged or be worried because they missed one junior tournament. There will be many more tournaments for them to impress the selectors,” said Kim Tho. 

“At the end of the year, we will hold national selection trials for players to get into the BJSS. If states leave out some names, we can still call them in for the trials. We also look at talent from private clubs,” he added. 

Currently, the BJSS have 66 players aged between 13 and 17 years old. 

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