When it comes to squash, Malaysia has made history with Datuk Nicol Ann David, the first Asian woman to hold the title of World #1 for a whopping 9 years!
Squash is undoubtedly a popular sport in Malaysia, especially when it comes to competitions. This year, Malaysia is all set to make another splash with the launch of a series of twelve World Squash Federation (WSF) Satellite tour events. These homegrown tournaments are aimed at boosting the rankings of our local players internationally, and they are made possible through the sponsorship and support of telecommunications company, RedONE Network Sdn Bhd.
For new athletes in this arena, participating in multiple tours is crucial for them to accumulate international ranking points, gain exposure, and earn prize money. Oftentimes, the cost of travelling abroad is a huge barrier that’s keeping them from competing, so having these championships in our own backyard is a game-changer for our players!
The redONE PSA and WSF Satellite Squash Championships kicked off in February, and tournaments have been happening all over the place like Negeri Sembilan, Bukit Jalil, and Penang. The most recent one went down in Negeri Sembilan from 8-11 June, where Goh Zhi Xuan and Harith Danial crushed it in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively.
ACE Sports & Management is organising these tours with the permission of the World Squash Federation (WSF), and redONE has stepped up to the plate to shoulder the financial responsibility. The CEO of redONE, Farid Yunus, who has also served as the President of the Selangor Squash Association (SRAS) for the past eight years expressed the company’s commitment to fostering world-class players by allocating funds to enhance the skills and abilities of talented athletes.
“We are dedicated to nurturing grassroots talent, especially among young players, enabling them to compete and gain the necessary exposure. Without such efforts, their talent may struggle to flourish,” Farid Yunus
Notably, redONE currently sponsors national player S.Sivasangari, who holds an impressive international ranking.
Additionally, they recently invested over RM200,000 in repairing the damaged facility at Astaka Petaling Jaya, previously utilised by SRAS for training purposes. The upcoming sixth PSA WSF Satellite tournament is scheduled to take place on July 13 at this newly refurbished complex.
Farid also urged government-linked companies and corporations to take sports sponsorship more seriously. He suggested revisiting past sponsorship practices, such as government-linked companies sponsoring specific sports, citing examples like Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) supporting hockey, Telekom Malaysia (TM) sponsoring football, and Maybank’s association with track and field athletes.
Farid also emphasised the need to place national players on a payroll, as seen in other countries such as Pakistan, Thailand, and numerous others. He likened successful athletes in those countries to soldiers or police officers, earning salaries while playing and receiving pensions upon retirement.