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KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 -- The Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence (SportExcel), which celebrates its 30th anniversary today, aims to give international exposure to more junior athletes.
SportExcel executive director, C. Sivanandan said at the moment, most of its junior international championships are dominated by golfers through the annual AmBank-SportExcel International Junior Golf Championship.
However, the foundation, which has provided opportunities for the likes of squash great Datuk Nicol David, bowling queen Shalin Zulkifli and the country’s leading golfer Galvin Kyle Green way before they turned into stars, wants to ensure international exposure for juniors from other 11 sports.
“We are looking to create a bigger impact in terms of developing the junior athletes, so instead of just the elite programme, we want to go for higher-level programmes like sending more athletes to international championships.
“We don’t have enough international competitions or exposure...we will send the athletes overseas two or three times a year to get the much needed international exposure. We will target them and expose them to higher-level competitions in the final year of the programme,” he told Bernama.
Although having to deal with financial constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sivanandan said the foundation was committed to convincing the public on the important purpose of developing young talents, while having a good track record for potential sponsors.
“We have produced many top class athletes and we have thousands of junior athletes to make it to the international level. We will work hard to raise funds and try to get more companies to come forward and be our partners,” he added.
Founded on April 19, 1991, SportExcel under the leadership of its chairman Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tunku Ja'afar, now supports junior athletes in tennis, taekwondo, squash, shooting, sepak takraw, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, bowling, cricket and athletics, besides golf.