Juniors taking flight with AirAsia

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# AirAsia-BAM National Junior League for 18-years and below

Things are finally moving as the Badminton Association of Malaysia went into overdrive in its bid to get down to grassroots to search budding badminton talent in the country.

With growing concerns that none of the present set of young potentials is in the mould of Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei – Malaysia’s hottest badminton property and a world icon in the shuttle sport, who held the world No 1 ranking until recently – the BAM will launch the National Junior League on Saturday.

Air Asia – itself a world brand name as the world’s best low cost carrier – will be the title sponsor with a contribution of RM1 million towards the RM2 million league.

The others who have come forward to sponsor the mega project and give the National Junior League a kickstart are Enra Group Berhad with RM500,000 while Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) and Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB) with RM250,000 each.

BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said the league will be officially launched by BAM patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Norza, who is also the deputy president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), revealed the format of the National Junior League. It will be played, using the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup format.

The BAM supremo added that the junior league is only for those aged 18 years and below. The champions of both, the boys’ and girls’ team will automatically earn themselves a place in the Academy Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara.

Hailed as the most ambitious project taken by the national badminton association, the league will see all the 15 states participating. Each state will be given a grant to run their inter-school league. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH

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