A new milestone in Asian badminton
Four top badminton playing countries - Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea -have come together to develop their young badminton talent through a development and exchange programme.
A historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the four nations was signed in Kuching, Sarawak last week and was witnessed by Badminton Asia president Anton Subowo and its Chief Operating Officer Kenny Goh.
The MoU between the four countries will enable the countries to embark on a junior exchange programme to develop badminton at all levels - from the national Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and national back-up teams.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai, who acted as the spokesman at the signing of the MoU, believes it is the right step in the right direction to give the sport a shot in the arm by training and exposing the young talent through a proper way.
At the signing ceremony Chin Chai signed on behalf of BAM. Wijanarko Adi Mulya Oei, the vice secretary general of PBSI (All Indonesia Badminton Association) signed for his country while Thailand were represented by Air Marshal Associate Professor Nigon Chumnankul who is the Secretary General of the Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT). Korea Badminton Association (KBA) deputy secretary general Han Woo Goo represented his country.
Chin Chai said under the MoU all the four partner countries shall host a joint camp once in four years on a rotation basis on mutual agreeable dates. "Under this exchange programme the partner nations will endeavour to conduct joint training and competitions for a period of seven to 14 days at various levels from the National Under-15, Under-17, Under 19 teams up to the National back-up team.
"The visiting country is allowed to have a maximum of 16 players and four officials for each joint camp." said Chin Chai.
"The host country will provide and bear the costs of accommodation, food, internal transport and training facilities for the Joint Camp while the visiting countries shall bear the travel costs to/from the venue fixed by the host country."
Chin Chai further added that whenever any Partner Countries host an international tournament in its country, the other visiting Partner Countries shall send its top players within the level of the tournament to participate in the tournament.
"In return the host country will provide and bear the costs of three hotel rooms to each visiting Partner Countries and further provide additional four complimentary accreditations and reasonable additional practice session at the tournament venue to each visiting Partner Countries," added Chin Chai.
"The partner countries will further collaborate on exchange of technical officials, coaching, training, development and sports science aspect of badminton." Chin Chai reiterated that the MoU is not only a big boost to the shuttle sport in this region but will benefit the younger players as there are not many junior tournaments compared to the senior tournaments organised every year.
"Joint training camps is much cheaper to develop younger players through joint training camps than sending younger players to international tournaments," said Chin Chai, adding that it will also give the younger players more opportunities.