KUALA LUMPUR – The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) is looking to ramp up their grassroots programme with the National Development Championships (NDC).
A total of 177 players representing eight teams – Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perlis, Perak, Sarawak and Terengganu will participate in the development competition that will be held at the Ipoh City Council Sports Complex from Nov 24-28.
This is the third edition of the National Development Championships. The inaugural event was held in Negeri Sembilan in 2017 while the 2018 edition was hosted at the Jalan Duta squash courts in Kuala Lumpur.
This development competition differs from the annual CIMB Foundation National Junior Circuit as it meant for players who are new to the sport of squash.
All the players involved are largely beginners in squash and they also represent their respective District Training Centre from the states.
With the Ministry of Education (MOE) collaborating with SRAM on this project, there are also a lot of school teachers involved in the NDC.
“This competition is meant for players who are really fresh in squash. That means anyone who has played in the National Junior Circuit previously, is not eligible,” said SRAM coach Muhammad Ammar Md Sidik who is in charge of the NDC.
“The objective of this competition is really to tap into the grassroots and give these players more experience before we try and push them for the National Junior Circuit events.
“The challenge is really for each team to get their players ready. And we also have a lot commitment issues from teachers since it is also the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) period now.
“Additionally, we also want to ensure that this year’s participants will go on to play in the National Junior Circuit so that we have new players next year,” added Ammar.
There are six events in the NDC – the Under-10, Under-12 and Under-14 categories for both boys and girls.
Each team are allowed to register a maximum of 24 players with a total of 94 boys and 83 girls signed up for the NDC.