9 April 2017

Starting 'em young: SRAM step up plans to develop game at grassroots level
Media Title: Sunday Star
Section: Sports

KUALA LUMPUR: The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) are stepping up efforts to develop the game at the grassroots level.

SRAM will - in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and with the CIMB Foundation sponsoring the cause - launch a new circuit among eight schools with squash courts.

SRAM president Huang Ying How said that the government had built squash courts in eight schools, which would be used as district training centres.

And the circuit, to be called SPTS-MOE-CIMB National Circuit, will involve the eight schools SK Seri Indera (Perlis), SMK Seri Pagi (Negri Sembilan), SMK Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi (Penang), SMK TPP Tengku Muhammad (Pahang), SK Jalan Bintang (Sarawak), SMK Bukit Nenas (Terengganu), SMK Tunku Ismail (Kedah) and SMK Jelapang Jaya (Perak).

"We are working with the MoE and CIMB Foundation to develop a squash programme ... it is major move on our part," said Ying How.

"With the experience we have, we are confident of putting together a first-class development programme for the districts and we hope to see major talents come through it.

"It will be a programme for students of all ages and we'll also train teachers who are interested to be coaches.

"We are happy that CIMB Foundation has come on board. They will fund the entire programme, from the tournaments and the cost to train teachers as coaches."

The CIMB Foundation has also renewed its commitment to sponsor SRAM's junior development programme for this year.

The programmes include the Rising Stars National Junior Circuit (Under-9, Under-11 and Under-13) and the National Junior Circuit (Under15, Under17 and Under19).

Overall winners from the junior circuit will get to compete at the annual British Junior Open in Sheffield.

"The CIMB Junior Squash Development Programme has been the cornerstone of Malaysia's squash activities for almost a decade. We are proud to see continued excellence from this programme that has benefited over 4,000 players to date," said CIMB Foundation chief executive officer Datuk Hamidah Naziadin.

Meanwhile, both the national junior boys and girls' teams have received cash incentives from CIMB Foundation following their outstanding performances at the Asian Junior Team Championships in Hong Kong in February.

S. Sivasangari, Andrea Lee, Aifa Azman and Zoe Foo received RM10,000 for clinching the girls' title while Darren Rahul Pragasam, Ong Sai Hung, Mohd Farez Izwan and Mohd Hafiz Zhafri received RM5.000 for finishing as runners-up in the boys' category. 

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