PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Ng Eain Yow is staying fully focused on squash despite receiving a scholarship grant.
The 20-year-old Eain Yow and women’s national No. 2 S. Sivasangari are the first recipients of the CIMB Squash Academic Scholarship by the CIMB Foundation.
Under the programme, the pair – who are Malaysia’s brightest prospects on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour – will receive full three-year scholarships worth a total of RM1.5mil for their undergraduate studies while being committed to the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) and the National Sports Council (NSC).
Studies is definitely an attractive option especially since top US universities have been aggressive in recruiting some of the world’s best youngsters for the ever-growing US college squash.
World No. 47 Eain Yow is, however, making squash as his main priority with the upcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Jakarta Asian Games in August.
“I think it is a really good initiative by CIMB Foundation. It allows me and Sivasangari to focus on our squash without worrying too much about our studies,” said Eain Yow.
“But right now my priority is the Commonwealth and Asian Games. After that, I can look at other options.
“I do feel that this is really a progressive move for squash and it can put parents’ minds at ease while we players focus on the sport.
“It also goes to show that it pays to put a 100% effort into the sport and I certainly hope that it will inspire more juniors,” added Eain Yow.
SRAM director Mejar (Rtd) S. Maniam believes the scholarship is a perfect tonic for the players.
“It is timely because Eain Yow and Sivasangari are two of our top players who are currently at a crossroads,” said Maniam.
“There’s no doubt that there are a lot of US universities approaching these players but this grant is definitely beneficial for the country in retaining our talents while also motivating the youngsters to do their best.”
Malaysia have always lost talented players to studies in the US in recent times. The players studying overseas include Zoe Foo, Teh Min Jie, Vanessa Raj and Marcus Sim.
Players studying in US colleges are unable to compete on the PSA Tour.
They are required to be amateurs for four years and play in the US squash college circuit.