Thanks to the Sabah Tennis Association (STA) the three-day Sabah Schools (SSSC) tennis boys’ and girls’ Under-18, Under-15 and Under-12 championships ended on a highly successful note in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday.
Hosts Kota Kinabalu won all except the boys’ singles Under-18 and Under-12 which went to Sandakan and the boys’ Under-12 which was won by Tawau.
STA came to the rescue of the schools meet by providing RM100 each to 30 of the 140 participants, mostly from outstation apart from giving them accommodation. The association also paid for the tournament balls and medals and for high tea during prize presentation.
The state tennis body, one of the active tennis associations in the country, also paid for the court rentals during the duration of the three-day meet.
“We (STA) came to the rescue after being told of the predicament by some of the teachers and education officials who are actively involved in the sport in their respective districts.
“Due to budget constraints most of the districts have been hit financially. Tennis has a large following among schoolchildren. Many have talent and it will be a waste if let them go as they are keen to compete in the Malaysian schools championships later this year,” said STA president Johnson Koh from Kota Kinabalu.
Many of the outstation players were also accompanied by their parents to give their children encouragement.
The Sabah schools championships is also the selection ground to pick the Sabah team to the national schools championships.
“The education officer in charge of the sports unit Abdul Hakim explained to the the parents on the delima faced by the department and many of the parents agreed to the suggestion to sponsor their kids if they are selected to don Sabah colors for the national meet,” added Johnson.