KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will invest RM1,000 a month on every potential player earmarked by them at state level.
The BAM decided to take the step in an attempt to find new talents, especially in the men’s singles department. World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is the only singles player producing results at international level for the national body.
David Wee, the BAM talent search chief, David Wee said the exco had approved the funding.
“The BAM cannot cater to all the players. I have 10 people in my committee, including some national coaches, and they will help to identify the talents in the states,” said David, who is also the president of the BA of Negri Sembilan
“Every potential player will be given RM1,000 a month and monitored under our programme.”
Currently, a BAM back-up player gets RM1,500 allowance for each month.
“We hope by focusing on the states, we will be able to increase our talent pool and give more players a chance to reach to fulfil their dreams,” he David.
It is certainly a move in the right direction as the BAM are struggling to produce new stars. This was evident at the recently-concluded National Grand Prix Finals. Three out of the four men’s singles players in the semi-finals were non-BAM players.
Except for Chong Wei Feng, the others – Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Zulfadli Zulkifli and Tan Chun Seang – are professionals.
Wei Feng won the title for the first time but the performances of the other BAM players, especially the second stringers, were not impressive and it does not augur well for the future.
Most of the players also looked jaded – probably because the tournament was the last for the year after a hectic season.
BAM’s lack of interest in the Finals was also evident – they staged the tournament in a hall that could only accommodate 300 spectators.
It goes on to show that they did not bother about raising the profile of their own local tournament. It must be remembered that the local meets are the platform for new stars to prove themselves. If it is not competitive and lucrative, it will not attract the players and will end up as a dull and drab affair.