9 April 2015

CIMB Junior Squash Development Programme 2015

The sports arena reflects the high performance culture associated with CIMB and embodies its tenet of continuous self-improvement as a driving force behind business innovation. While the Group is best known for its sponsorship of sixtime World Squash Champion, Datuk Nicol David, CIMB Foundation also funds sports development initiatives as the Foundation believes in creating opportunities for young people to excel in sports. CIMB has supported squash since 2005 when CIMB Investment Bank became the Rakan Sukan Squash in partnership with the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM).

The funding for the Junior Squash Development Programme is currently provided by CIMB Foundation. The programme was initiated in 2006 and today covers 800 girls and boys in six age groups from U9 to U19. Two tournament circuits, the CIMB Rising Stars National Junior Circuit and the CIMB National Junior Circuit, form the mainstay of the junior development programme. In 2014, the Foundation continued with its benchmarking and incentive scheme initiated in 2010. The Foundation also funds a high performance programme for CIMB juniors to compete at the World Junior Championships in 2016/2017.

The World Junior Squash programme began well in its first year: a total of 19 juniors (nine boys and 10 girls) were selected for this elite training squad. SQUASH 2014 was a successful year for the CIMB junior squash players competing on the international circuit. Most key players excelled in spite of being at the lower end of their age groups. At the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, Malaysia won three of the four gold medals. For the Team event, the Malaysian girls’ squad won gold by defeating Hong Kong 2-0 in a close final. The Malaysian boys’ squad won the third gold after defeating India 2-1 in the finals. Vanessa Raj won the gold medal for the girls’ individual title while Muhammed Syafiq Kamal won the silver medal for the boys’ individual title.

The CIMB juniors excelled at the Asian Games in Incheon, the British Junior Open, the Japan Junior Open and the Asian Junior Individual Championships in Iran: Vanessa Raj won the Asian Games Team Gold medal at the Asian Games; Aifa Azman and S. Sivasangari won the Girls U13 and U15 categories respectively at the British Junior Open; Ng Eain Yow was a runner-up in the Boys U17 category after winning the Boys U15 in 2013; Andrea Lee won the Girls U17 category at the Japan Junior Open. The CIMB juniors dominated the Asian Junior Individual Championships: Aifa Azman won the Girls U13, Andrea Lee won the Girls U17, Venessa Raj won the Girls U19 and Ng Eain Yow won the Boys U17 categories.

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