# Sabah tennis given bigger grant in 2015 for developing young tennis talent
# East Malaysian state had a great run in junior tennis
# The year 2015 turned out to be a year of promise for Sabah tennis, especially when it came to the juniors for both boys and girls
It would not have come if Sabah Tennis had not seen an increase in their annual grant from the Sabah Ministry of Sports and the Sabah Sports Council (MSN).
Sabah Tennis Association had their annual grant increased from RM35,000 to RM48,000 – in STA president Johnson Koh’s own words “a reward for performing up to expectations” in the development of the sport in the state.
Johnson, a well known businessman in Sabah, was re-elected as the STA President for another two years at its AGM in April 2015 – a post he has held since 2006.
The STA EXCO saw some new faces but the Josephine George and Tony Wong Ing Ding retaining their posts of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
The inter affiliate annual tournament saw an increase in participation with all the nine affiliates competing.
Hosts Kota Kinabalu LTA won all the categories to claim the Junior Ajit Mannan trophy, Veteran STA President trophy, Sports Minister trophy for men and the Ladies Tourism Minister trophy.
Kota Kinabalu also emerged as the overall champions to bring home the Sabah Chief Minister Challenge trophy.
The eighth edition of the annual 1 Malaysia Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor Invitaional Team Tennis Challenge trophy was again won by Lakeview Wilson Team for the 6th time. A total 11 teams participated in the tournament.
The 6th Asia Tennis Federation ( ATF ) under 14 tournament was won by Takashi Koey from Malaysia and Indonesian Priska Nguhoro won the girl’s title.
Last year Sabah’s Christian Didier Chin won both the singles and doubles titles. The boys titles have been won by Malaysians the last three years.
In the juniors category Sabah tennis have something to show and be proud of.
In the Sabah Games ( SAGA ) Kota Kinabalu completed a grand double by winning the boys and girls title. Clarisa Sofia, aged 12, wrote history as youngest ever champion in the girls’ category. Rishab Notaney won the boys’ title.
Sabah’s rising tennis star girl Nurshaneem Iman Shamsuddin was the state’s most prolific title winner in 2015 – winning four national and international singles titles and three doubles titles.
In the boys Irfan Ariff, Rishab Notaney, Luke Alfred Guansing, Bonaventure Billy, Hiew Kee Jun, Harish Sunil Manoharan, Ryan Chee and Darius Wong are the promising ones.
Among the promising players in the girls’ category are Clarisa Sofia, Selena Tan and Sabrina Trisha.
Christian Chin, the No 1 ranked player in the ATF Under-14 category in 2014 was awarded a USD 5,000 grant under the Olympic Solidarity Talented Player grant in May this year.
He went on to excel in various tournaments under the ITF category and ranked 930 in November and may climb to 800 by the end of this year.
STA hopes both Christian and Nurshaneem will sustain their form and determination to excel further with their parents the driving force behind their success.
According to Johnson Koh, STA will give assistance and encouragement to Christian and Nurshaneem and also other promising kids who can show improvement and results in outside state tournaments.
“Coaching for all the juniors are on going and STA hopes to find more talent from among the school kids,” said Johnson Koh.
On the district affiliates, the very active ones are Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Keningau and Tawau.
“The other affiliates have to put in more effort to promote junior and tennis in general. The officials in the district associations have been requested to organize more tournaments and activities. STA will help if requested.
STA also thanked the Chief Minister, Sports Minister, Tourism Minister for the trophies and assistance given throughout the year.
“Thank you to all the government departments, agencies, donors, well wishers and officials who have given their time and effort in assisting the association.
“STA would also like to give a special thank you to the brother of the late Ajit Mannan, Datuk Sam Mannan who has agreed to continue with Ajit’s legacy in assisting the association in their junior programs.
“STA would also thank the parents who have sacrificed their precious time and finances to encourage their kids to advance in their tennis,” added Johnson Koh.