Developing future squash prodigies
by Philip Wong, email@example.com. Posted on July 7, 2012, Saturday
SIBU: The increasing number of young players taking up squash is good proof the game is fast gaining popularity among those from grassroots level.
President of Squash Racquets Association of Sarawak (SRAS) Robert Lau Hui Yew was a picture of smiles when he talked about the junior development programme aimed at producing young squash prodigies.
“It is our game plan to tap as much potential from the grassroots level and our hard work is beginning to reap dividends…we will continue with our concerted efforts to widen our search to ensure that there is always second string of talented players to take over the mantle once the seniors retire,” he said.
Lau, who is also vice president of Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) said this was evident in the recent CMS Sarawak squash circuit first leg held at SMK Sacred Heart.
Over 90 players from throughout the state took part in the three-day championship where several young new players captured the U-9 and U-11 categories titles.
“All eyes will be on this potentially explosive young squad where they will be groomed and nurtured to be future squash stars,” Lau enthused.
From Sibu alone, Lau said there were at least eight new young faces spearheading its challenge while Miri sent seven new players for the U-9 category.
He was extremely happy with Bau’s SMK Aper for sending 11 young players.
“This was the first time that Bau sent a strong team of 11 players and together with their coach and parents, it showed the support the sport had generated in hot pursuit by the Bidayuh community from Bau,” he said on Bau team whose players Freda Rosa and Euginia Sulan finished second and third placing respectively in the Girls U-9 category.
Their coach Joe Ting described the achievement as exciting and also expressed confident for better things to come as they are eyeing for more titles in the second and third leg of CMS Sarawak squash circuit, soon to be held in Miri and Kuching respectively.
Lau said outstanding players from the CMS Sarawak squash circuit would be selected to represent Sarawak for next year CIMB National Tournament that is being held thrice a year.
The championship was divided into the CIMB Rising Star section for the U-9, U-11, U-13 categories and the National Junior sections for the U-15, U-17, U-19 categories.
“The current national junior champion, 12-year-old Ma Si Yi from Miri is the product of CIMB’s Rising Star project…she has achieved impressive results and is now on track to attain global stardom by participating in the world junior matches,” he added.
Lau however refused to delve into the junior development of other sports but as far as squash was concerned, he said it was moving in the right direction in promoting the game.
“When we promote the sport…we do not just concentrate in one area. We also promote the sport actively in all the other divisions,” he said on the necessity to be balanced and consistent so that there will sufficient players from all the respective divisions to take part in tournaments to come.