KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk James Selvaraj’s days as the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) high performance director are numbered.
The BAM exco, chaired by president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, admitted yesterday that their move in appointing a part-time high performance director last year was not working out and that they would look into hiring someone on a full-time basis.
But the BAM said they would ask James first whether he would consider working on a full-time basis.
James could not join BAM on a full-time basis when appointed last September because of his job as Bata Malaysia’s senior manager.
Still, the BAM brought the former Thomas Cupper into the set-up, insisting that he was the right man for the job because of his vast knowledge and expertise.
Not surprisingly, problems cropped up when he was not consulted on issues regarding the athletes and coaches while some decisions were made without his knowledge.
For instance, James did not know about the resignations of Tan Chun Seang and Julia Wong and the promotion of some coaches from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to the elite squad.
“The BAM now see the need for a full-time high performance director. Doing it part-time doesn’t seem to be the best way to organise the coaches and athletes for further improvement,” said Nadzmi. “We need a person who is on the ground every day to manage the coaches and athletes. We will talk to Datuk James and ask him if he would like to work with us full time.”
He said that if James did not accept their offer, they would then seek someone else.
“It is not easy to find a good high performance director. James has a one-year deal with us that runs until September. We will look into this matter after the World Championships,” said Nadzmi.
The World Championships will be held in London from Aug 8-14 but the team will leave early to attend centralised training at the Bath University from July 27-Aug 4.
Meanwhile, Nadzmi also said that the BAM would sign a major sponsorship deal with Maybank on Tuesday.
“Our deal with the new sponsor will officially begin on Aug 1. We have a five-year contract with them. This is so far our biggest sponsorship deal but we will let Maybank reveal the details on Tuesday,” he said.
“All the players will have the Maybank logo on their T-shirt when they compete in the world meet.”
The exco also endorsed the proposals made by the coaching and training committee to ban back-up shuttler Chun Seang from competing in tournaments in Asia for two years while accepting Julia’s decision to quit the team.