KUCHING: The Sarawak Badminton Association (SBA) are planning to set up its badminton academy early next year.
SBA president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said the proposed academy needed the approval from both the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and the Sarawak government.
“I will be bringing up this matter in the BAM supreme council meeting this weekend. After BAM approves our proposal, I shall forward it to the State government,”,” said Aziz.
According to Aziz, who is also BAM deputy president, the setting up of the Sarawak badminton academy is in line with BAM’s plan to set up more academies in the country, three in West Malaysia and one in Sarawak for East Malaysia.
“The academy including the infrastructure facilities will cost RM35 million and we are expecting it to be completed in two years’ time. We have the land approved by the government already and it is next to the Sarawak Lawn Bowls Arena,”,” he revealed.
Aziz said once the academy is operational, SBA are targeting at least 100 players from Sarawak and Sabah and, in the next five years, produce players from Sarawak for the national team and competing at the Olympics.
“Badminton is one of the sports which have helped the country win medals at the Olympics and the largest number of athletes in the Malaysian Olympic contingent are from badminton,”,” said Aziz at the press conference at a local hotel yesterday to announce the visit by a group from the Jooyyume Badminton Training Centre and Academy of Xiamen, China to Kuching from July 14 to 18.
This group will consist of 12 young badminton players aged between 9 to 12 years old who will be having their training and friendly competitions with local boys and girls.
Aziz added the role of the proposed academy can ensure the viability of taking up badminton as a professional career particularly for those who intend to make a living as a player, a coach or even as an official.
“The proposed academy may complement our continuing efforts to create a larger pool of elite badminton players through the training of qualified coaches and technical officials who will be using the comprehensive programmes, facilities and amenities available under one roof.
“In fact, there are a lot of sports talent in the country be it in swimming, diving, athletics … and the emphasis given right now is to scout for such talents and to enable them progress further while making a living or a career as professionals, a coach, trainer and sports officials,”,” said Aziz.