Junior Badminton Circuit gaining traction in Sarawak

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Yasin (seventh left), players, organisers and officials in a group photo after the prize presentation.

KUCHING (Sept 13): The SSC-Sarawak Junior Badminton Circuit (SJBC) is fast gaining popularity with more young children joining the series organised throughout the state.

This was evident in the most recent series held from Sept 9 to 10 at Balai Raya Kampung Keluru Tengah, Bekenu, Miri which attracted 89 juniors competing in various age categories.

The Bekenu competition is the third after the Sibu and Sarikei series organised by Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) in collaboration with Kuching Badminton Association (KBA) this year.

The overwhelming numbers of participants exceeded those of the previous series including the first in 2021 at Petra Jaya Multi Sports Stadium in Kuching before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to KBA president and series organising chairman Dr Ong King Swee.

There will be another four to five series to be organised this year, with the final series to be held at Petra Jaya Multipurpose Stadium in the final week of December.

Ong was thankful to the Berkenu Badminton Club, Miri BA, Kuching BA and SSC for making a success of the circuit. He also commended coaches and parents, some of whom came from as far as Bintulu and Miri, to send their children to the tournament.

The series feature only singles events in the Under-11, 13 and 15 age categories.

It is aimed at developing the sport at the grassroots level and unearthing new talents.

Yasin Jumat, who led the organisers of the Bekenu series, was delighted with the turnout, saying: “This is the first time a junior badminton competition was being held in Bekenu.”

There are already spin-off effects from the circuit. Miri BA president Jeremy Ting said his association is always keen to assist badminton coaches and players from outside Miri.

“In fact, we have also visited Long Lama and Marudi after the SOPs has been loosened to talk to the badminton associations there to find out areas where MBA can help to bring up more players,” he revealed.

The next series will be held in Bintulu in October. The exact dates of competition will only be announced next week so as to allow recovery and rest to the grassroots players who took part in the Bekenu series and also in anticipation of another overwhelming response from players.

Ting, who is leading the organisers for the upcoming Bintulu series, is expecting the number of participants to exceed the one in Berkenu.

“So we are inviting all parents, coaches, badminton clubs and associations to take this opportunity to participate and plan early their schedules,” he said.

Meanwhile, David Ling was crowned the champion in the Boys U15 singles while Mohd Muszapher Mohamad Muszapher and Mohd Hazwan Hamdan were second and third in Bekenu.

Noel Liew bagged the Boys U13 title while Liew Zi Cheng and Hayden Yuan were second and third respectively.

As for the Boys U11, the top three finishers were Lucas Ho Ming Joon, Beldrick Anyum and Louis Ho Ming Bing.

The Girls U15 title was won by Shanice Tang, with Siti Maisarah Juhan and Nadia in second and third place.

Top three winners in the Girls U13 were Jing Xin Lim, Maria Alexa and Nurul Amieza Ariesya while in the Girls U11, the top three finishers were Liyana Zahirah, Lydia Lau and Viealisha Aliyah.