PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Badminton Korea Association (BKA) to develop badminton as an industry.
Under this MoU, there will be joint training programmes for junior players and friendly matches, while coaches will also exchange ideas and knowledge in terms of sports science.
Slated to last four years, the partnership will see the BAM and BKA planning league tournaments in which players from both countries will participate.
The Koreans headed by Kim Joong-soo, former chief coach and currently the chief executive director of the BKA, arrived on Wednesday with six boys and eight girls who are also preparing for the Asia Under-17 and Under-15 Championships in Kudus, Java, from Oct 8-13.
President Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff explained that the BAM have long thought about a viable partnership with the Koreans.
“South Korea have became a badminton superpower in such a short span of time and we have always talked about working closely with them,” said Tengku Mahaleel after the MoU signing ceremony.
“I’m glad that both our associations can now work together closely to develop badminton as an industry where players can choose to pick up the sport as a career.
“This partnership is also a pathway for our talent to go overseas as trainers or coaches,” added Tengku Mahaleel.
Meanwhile Joong-soo added that it was a great opportunity for the Korean players and they have always valued the working relationship with Malaysia.
“We have always enjoyed a smooth relationship with the BAM, and Tan Kim Her was one of our coaches who achieved good results in the past,” said Joong-soo who was the Korean chief coach until the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Currently both South Korea and Malaysia are lacking in just 5-10% in order to become top nations in badminton and hopefully this collaboration will help both countries achieve that.
“Our badminton history is not as rich as Malaysia whose players are better in all round technique as well. We on the other hand emphasise more on sports science.
“With this MoU, we are looking forward to a partnership not just for the junior programmes, but in all age groups as well.
“We will work closely on the national level and even at the university level which Malaysia does not emphasise as much. Our coaches will share ideas in order to achieve the desired results in the future,” added Joong-soo.
It is also learned that a group of Malaysian juniors will head over to South Korea in January as part of the exchange programme.