Badminton academy receives Naim sponsorship for 8th year

KUCHING: Pacific Badminton Management (PBM) is hoping to produce more calibre shuttlers to represent Sarawak in Sukma and national age group competitions.

PBM owner and head coach Dominic Lim said fueling this hope and ambition is Naim Holdings Berhad which has been so supportive to the badminton academy since 2005.

“In 2005 when PBM was set up, we were only looking at development but now some of the trainees have progressed to representing the state at Sukma and other national competitions,” Lim said after receiving an annual sponsorship of RM25,000 from Naim Holding Berhad yesterday.

The sponsorship, for the eighth consecutive year to run PBM development and training programme, was presented to Lim by Naim Holding senior general manager Charles Bateman.

“I would like to thank Naim Holding for their staunch support over the years since 2005,” said Lim.

According to Lim, PBM had produced players like Jong Wei Fook, Kong Chee Kiat, Andy Ng, Adam Lau, Kelvin Jee, Roni Tan and Lai Zin Neng for the state Sukma teams.

At Sukma XV in Kuantan, Pahang last year, Roni Tan and Lai Zing Neng were outstanding when they reached the semi-finals of the men’s doubles.

They beat Chee Wei Zhong-Tan Vi Hen 21-14, 21-16 in the first round, Nik Ahmad Azfar Nik Mazlan-Wan Mas Ami Abu Bakar 21-9, 21-14 in the second round and Nelson Heg Wei Kiat-Tan Yip Juin 24-22, 7-21, 21-19 in the last eight.

In the semi-finals, the Sarawak pair lost 10-21, 20-22 to third seeds Ow Yao Han-Tai An Khang and in the play-off for third/fourth placing, Tan-Lai lost 22-24, 21-17, 22-24 to Tan Wee Tat-Teo Ee Yi.

“I have also set goals for the trainees – to go for Sukma – and to reach there, they must undergo full-time training,” said Lim, who added that there was no training programme for players aged 18 and above.

He said full-time training was necessary because there are too few tournaments in the state and it is also costly to send players outside the state for exposure.

Lim has also recently engaged an Indonesian trainer named Endi from Tangkas Club in Bandung to coach the 16 elite players who are aged 10 to 19, at Kota Sentosa Sports Centre, Jalan Stakan.

Also helping out with the coaching are Tan Hin Loke and Rosli Sapiee.

Meanwhile, Naim Holding head of corporate marketing, Caroline Yeo, said the company was happy to be involved in the development of badminton in Sarawak.

“We also provide sponsorships to football (FAS) and state junior bowler Nerosha Keligit has also received a two-year sponsorship from us. We would like to see more youths taking up sports,” she said.

Yeo added that Naim Holding also extends assistance for education and community-based programmes.

“We also hope that other corporate companies can come in to support sports associations and bodies in developing sports in Sarawak,” she added.