Game-changer Beng Hee sets up squash academy in China at right time before LA Olympics

  • Squash
  • Monday, 10 Jun 2024

Cool coach: Ong Beng Hee speaking to one of his players while coaching in United States.

PETALING JAYA: Call him a game-changer. Former international Ong Beng Hee continues to break boundaries and set new milestones as he has now become the first Malaysian to set up a squash academy in Beijing, China.

And the timing could not have been perfect - just four years before the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The center will cater for young talents in Beijing first and will expand to the other regions in the country. With a big pool of talents, expect squash to grow big in China under the guidance of Beng Hee and his team of coaches.

The 44-year-old has ended his successful stint as the national head coach of US Squash since taking up the post in 2021. Over the last three years, US squash has improved by leaps and bounds. Prior to that he was heading the coaching programme in Qatar.

He was the first squash player to hold key positions abroad as a coach. With wealth of coaching experience, the former national No. 1 is expected to make a strong presence in China.

And Beng Hee is super excited.

"Moving forward, I am excited to announce the launch of my own academy - Dream Squash," said Beng Hee, who was once ranked seventh in the world.

"Since squash became an Olympic sport in 2023, it has gained increasing recognition in China, with a growing demand and rapid rise in young players.

"The resources and potential here are enormous, and Dream Squash is confident in its ability to impact the development of squash in China, ultimately benefiting the sport on an international scale.

"The opportunity to start this academy arose after meeting several enthusiastic parents seeking a better, more systematic training structure for their children.

"The focus is to provide the young players a structured training programme, a platform to support this game from grassroots to elite, with each players’ goal in mind and support them in applying for school of their choice through squash.

"Together with dedicated parents, we have founded this academy, with Beijing as our first centre, and long term plans to expand to other regions in China.

He said the academy - with five squash courts, will be open to players from all countries as Beng Hee's ultimate goal is to make is a hub for the Asian squash community.

"With my experience as a former player and coach in Malaysia, Qatar, and the USA, I am confident we can offer the squash community exciting opportunities to improve their game and achieve their goals," said Beng Hee.

"During my time in the US, I established strong relationships with the American School Squash Association (ASSA). We aim to produce excellent players and look forward to future collaborations with ASSA.

"An exciting journey awaits! See you in Beijing, squashers!

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