KUALA LUMPUR: The BA of Malaysia (BAM) are hoping for more national shuttlers to be in the Podium Programme.
It is understood that the national body submitted 20 names two weeks ago to the Podium Programme committee. The new Podium Programme list will be released on Friday.
Currently, BAM have 12 shuttlers in the Podium Programme, which include former world No 1 Lee Chong Wei and 2015 world junior champion Goh Jin Wei.
BAM secretary general Datuk Ng Chin Chai, who was present at the launch of the AirAsia-BAM National Junior League at Cheras Badminton Stadium on Thursday, said: "When Podium first released their list, we had eight shuttlers in it, but we submitted four more names to make it 12.
"Badminton has definitely done well over the years, delivering medals at the Olympic Games and other international tournaments, so we are hoping to have more shuttlers under the programme.
"Two weeks ago, we submitted 20 names to Podium, so let's wait and see tomorrow whether they make the cut. The 12 who were part of the initial list are deserving players,” said Chin Chai.
The others in the list are Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei (women’s doubles); and Chan Peng Soon, Tan Kian Meng, Goh Liu Ying and Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles).
On a separate note, Chin Chai also announced that BAM will be holding a trial for players aged 18-20 in January.
It is in line with the national body's new policy of dropping and selecting new players.
"We have notified all the head coaches to review the performances of their trainees for this year, and we will decide on who to drop and who to retain.
“We will also hold a trial for players outside of BAM, who have international experience, to have a go at making it to the national squad,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur BA president and BAM council member Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Yunoos said the response for the first AirAsia-BAM National Junior League has been promising.
"This is the first time we are organising this tournament, and we already have 250 players from 16 schools,” said Jahaberdeen.
AirAsia have pledged RM1 million in total prize money (per year) for the state level tournament, and have agreed to be partners for
the next two years.