“Yayasan Kecemerlangan Sukan Malaysia” or better known as ‘SportExcel’, continues to be recognised as a prime mover of junior sports development in Malaysia with their latest recognition coming from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD).

YSD has come on board to support “The Malaysian Premier Elite Junior Circuit Grand Finals and International Exposure for Female Athletes” programme by SportExcel. This three-year programme with sponsorship of RM1.5 million aims to produce highly competitive female junior athletes under four types of sports. Kudos to YSD!

The four types of sports were selected by the SportExcel Board of Directors, based on the criteria set out, which are – an Olympic or Asian Games sport with potential to succeed at regional and/or world events within two or three cycles - SEA Games, Asian Games etc.

The four sports selected are - swimming, tennis, squash, and BMX (Cycling) under its respective associations - Malaysia Swimming, Tennis Malaysia, Squash Racquet Association Malaysia (SRAM) and National Cycling Association Malaysia (PKBM).

“The objective of the programme is to provide international exposure for many of our upcoming junior athletes, which is a key component in player development. The more one competes overseas, the better it is for an athlete. They face different challenges which further develops their abilities, as well as be exposed to different cultures and develop their soft skills such as improved confidence, communication skills and team spirit through more interactivity,” said Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, the founder and Chairman of SportExcel.

Sivanandan Chinnadurai, the SportExcel Executive Director, added that the selected four sports and athletes who will benefit from the programme will be closely monitored by an Advisory Board as well as a Monitoring and Evaluation panel.

The Advisory Board will be headed by former track queen Datuk Marina Chin, squash legend Datuk Nicol David and former secretary general of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and secretary general of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Datuk Low Beng Choo.

The Monitoring and Evaluation panel will monitor the progress of each athlete in this programme over the 3 years. It will be headed by Associate Professor Dr. Jeffery Low, Sports Science Faculty, Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI) Tanjung Malim together with Dr. Balbir Singh, an experienced sports psychologist; S. Enthiran, Senior Assistant of Bukit Jalil Sports School and Cik Siti Musyrifah Binti Ismail, Sports Officer (Exercise Physiologist), Institut Sukan Negara.

“The athletes’ fitness, communication skills, decision-making, ethical and moral behaviour development tests will be conducted on a regular basis by these experts,” said Sivanandan.

Sivanandan added that the sponsorship will cover the athletes’ participation at international/overseas championships (twice a year for each sport) and the expenses of inviting international junior athletes to participate at the annual local Sportexcel – MSN - Milo Grand Finals of each sport to raise the level of competitiveness at the Grand Finals.

“Selection of players and competitions to participate each year will be decided by the respective National Sports Association (NSAs), as well as the invitation of players from overseas,” added Sivanandan.

Tunku Imran, who is also YSD Chairman, added that “Each NSA also has to set and achieve targets for each year, i.e. 2022,2023 and 2024 being the main targets, as it is pertinent to reach these goals to ensure that the Programme is impactful.

SportExcel’s overseas exposure is nothing new, as it has been ongoing and proven.

Junior golfers are, to a large extent, reaping the success of an International Exposure program introduced by SportExcel in 2015.

SportExcel is a member of the Asia- Pacific Junior Golf Group initiated by Hills Golf Academy of Australia.

“We have International partnerships in India, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, China, Korea and Japan,” disclosed Sivanandan. Beginning 2020, SportExcel also has a similar program with Singapore.

“Annually, around 40 junior golfers from SportExcel are sent for competitions run by the member organisations. This exposure programme, in our opinion, has resulted in marked improvement in players' performance as shown by the performance of our junior golfers in US Colleges over the last three to four years,” substantiated Sivanandan.

Tunku Imran said that YSD should be praised for the interest shown in SportExcel’s Junior development as it was going to benefit Malaysian junior athletes in the long run.

“As much as we are aware that international exposure is a key element in development of junior athletes, SportExcel has limited funds, thus sponsorships from YSD goes a long way to fulfil our dreams to produce future champions for the nation,” said Tunku Imran.

Some of the junior athletes from SportExcel have graduated and successfully became world class players in their own sports, such as Nicol David, the greatest squash athlete of all time; Shalin Zulkifli, bowling; Ben Leong, golf; Yeoh Ken Nee, diving; Jeffrey Ong, swimming; M. Kumaresan, cycling and most recently, Gavin Kyle Green of golf. They are all testaments to SportExcel’s record and continuing effort to nurture and create more Malaysian juniors as world-beaters.

National Sports Council and Milo have been partners of SportExcel since 1992 and currently contribute RM380,000 per year for all the 12 circuits to be organised. YSD is the latest partner, while 10 other corporations and institutions give their support as charter members, each with a contribution of RM15,000 per year.

“In recent years we have lost many charter members because of the poor economic times and SportExcel is continually looking for new charter members to come forward to support us to ensure that our programmes run efficiently and benefit junior athletes’ development in the country,” appealed Tunku Imran.

“Come on board and support our efforts to continue to produce more new champions. Be a charter member or sponsor any of our events to be part of a meaningful and important effort in making Malaysia an excellent sporting nation. Contributions enjoy income tax relief. Children after all are the future.”

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Last Updated:
21 Mar 2022
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