KUALA LUMPUR: The huge success of Malaysian squash players — both seniors and juniors — at the international level has prompted CIMB to extend their contract for another two years.
CIMB will continue to contribute RM2mil a year to the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) for their tournaments, administrative expenses and development programmes.
CIMB Group head of group corporate communications Effendy Shahul Hamid said they were pleased with the development and success of the CIMB-sponsored national junior circuits.
“We are also delighted with the Malaysian players for their exceptional performance in the senior and junior tournaments.
“We hope that through the national junior circuits, young players will be able to hone their skills and lift thier performance on court.
“We look forward to extending the contract with SRAM, which expires in June, for another two years,” Effendy said during a ceremony to announce CIMB’s continuation as title sponsors for this year’s national junior circuits.
SRAM deputy president Datuk Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali attributed the squash players’ success to the availability of good coaches, facilities and high-level competitions.
“We would like to thank CIMB for extending their contract for another two years as we need RM2mil a year to carry out our activities,” said Syed Mutaffa.
“We need RM1.3mil to organise the Kuala Lumpur Open and Malaysian Open, RM500,000 a year for junior development programmes and RM200,00 for administrative expenses.”
Malaysian squash has enjoyed tremendous success of late, thanks largely to the exploits of players like Nicol David, Ong Beng Hee, Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Low Wee Wern.
World No. 1 Nicol created history when she won all the 10 Women’s International Squash Players Association (Wispa) tournaments last year. It was the best ever achievement for the Penangite since turning pro in 2000.
National No. 1 men’s player Beng Hee won the Kuala Lumpur Open and Malaysian Open last year.
Malaysia also made a clean sweep of all the four titles in the Asian Championships in Kuwait last February, with Azlan and Nicol bagging the men’s and women’s individual titles apart from the two team crowns.
Wee Wern also shone last year, retaining her Asian junior girls’ title in Busan in July.
Meanwhile, 384 juniors will compete in both the boys’ and girls’ Under-9, Under-11 and Under-13 age-group in the five-legs of the CIMB junior circuit this year.
Each of the junior received a RM10 ang pow from CIMB yesterday.
The first-leg started at the NSC Courts in Jalan Duta yesterday and second-leg will be held in Pahang from April 3-5.
The other legs are in Kedah (from May 1-3), Terengganu (June 19-21) and the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil (July 16-19).