KUCHING: The Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) is committed to producing players of calibre who can do the state and country proud in national and international competitions.
SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew Chin Joon said the association would like to see more players like Mohd Assri Merzuki emerge from the junior development programme in the next five years.
Although the association had many achievements such as organising national and international events, Liew felt that the standard of the state tennis players had not been so encouraging in the past three years.
“We are encouraging our divisional affiliates to bring tennis development to a higher level and we are also working towards upgrading the existing facilities at the SLTA Tennis Centre.
“The power system will be upgraded to cater for night matches,” he said after being returned unopposed as SLTA president for another term (2020-2022) during the Annual General Meeting at SLTA Tennis Centre on Saturday.
He has led the association since 1998 and the Kuching Division Lawn Tennis Association since 1995. After the facilities are upgraded, Liew said SLTA will also be looking to organise more international events next year after the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
He said SLTA were only able to organise the 35th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup (l) ITF World Tennis Tour (J1 Sarawak) from Mar 10 to 15 this year while other international events were cancelled under the directive from ITF. Liew is also happy to see an increase of young kids joining the junior tennis programme after the success stories of some Sukma players were highlighted in The Borneo Post recently.
“I can see that there is a greater awareness among the parents that tennis is not only about playing the game but also building up the character of the players and paving a path for them to further their education in local and foreign universities on tennis scholarships.
“We also have more adults signing up tennis as a recreational sport and practising a healthy lifestyle through sport,” added Liew.
Meanwhile, other SLTA office-bearers who retained their posts were vice presidents Douglas Telejan, Dr Wee Thian Yew and Simon Tiong Ing Tung, secretary Bernard Chin Yu On and his assistant Christopher Chai, treasurer Kho Siak Koi and assistant treasurer Leslie Wee Boon Seng.
Chang Siq is the only new face elected as a committee member, serving along with James Ling, Han Hipni, Roger Eng, Stevie Din, Gilbert Yeo and Ann Liew Mei Eng.