SRAM to meet state bodies over funding issues related to dropped players


KUALA LUMPUR: The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) will meet state associations on Thursday to address issues regarding funding for players who have been dropped from the National Sports Council (NSC) training programmes.

SRAM president Gerard Monteiro said they would discuss the current shortfall as well as plans to raise funds to help their athletes compete in tournaments, including in the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in July.

“Earlier this month, we spent a week with the NSC planning which tournaments the players will go for and how much budget the NSC had for us. Now, we know how much is the shortfall,” said Gerard.

“That’s why I’m going to speak about this with the state associations and tell them how I’m going to raise money from the private sector and help to make sure that these guys get a ‘soft landing’,” he said after officiating the CIMB junior development programme and the launching of SRAM’s new website.

The NSC had previously dropped 144 national athletes and retained only 293 athletes (248 able-bodied and 45 para athletes) for their full-time training programmes this year. Prior to this, the NSC had over 400 able-bodied and 114 para athletes.

National woman squash ace Low Wee Wern was among 10 players dropped from SRAM following NSC’s decision.

Meanwhile, Gerard explained that the decision to drop the players was taken by both the NSC and SRAM after they had both reviewed the list of players methodically so as to enable younger players to stake their claim for a spot in the squad.

He added that SRAM would also try their best to help Wee Wern return to action. The Penang-born player is undergoing rehabilitation following a knee surgery last year.

“We’re not going to forget those who are coming back and we will still support them. For example, Wee Wern... although she’s injured and the NSC do not want to provide the funds for her to compete, we will raise money to make sure that she will get back on her feet and play squash again,” he said. — Bernama

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