KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- The setting up of a national badminton academy that was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today, would have full-fledged facilities says Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) President Datuk Nadzmi Salleh.
Nadzmi said the academy would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and training equipment for shuttlers.
"The academy will not only be a place for training but also double up as a research and development centre (R&D)," he told reporters here Tuesday.
Nadzmi said from the 30 courts proposed, two would be earmarked and equipped with devices, including cameras to help players and coaches to analyse their game and identify their flaws and weaknesses.
"Prior to the setting up, we will discuss and get feedback from all parties involved to determine the types of facilities that need to be put up or made available," he said.
Najib who officially opened a two-day National Sports Convention at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here today announced that the government would set up the academy at a cost of RM24 million.
"Since the 2012 London Olympics will take place in less than four years, work on the academy will start as soon as possible," said Nadzmi who added that a committee might be formed to ensure a smooth process in the setting up of the academy.
"In the long run, the academy can start generating income of its own and become self-sufficient instead of depending on BAM. The facilities can also be used by foreign shuttlers," he said.
Badminton is seen as the most likely sport that can end the country's wait for a first ever gold medal in the Olympics, especially after having contributed two silver and two bronze medals in the 1994 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei added the latest silver medal from the men's singles event during the Beijing Olympics in August while Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock won the other silver in Atlanta from the men's doubles while Rashid Sidek (men's singles, 1996) and Razif-Jailani Sidek (men's doubles, 1994) are contributors of the bronze medals.
Meanwhile, in KOTA KINABALU, BAM vice president Datuk Maijol Mahap said the announcement by Najib showed the government's initiative and serious commitment in unearthing and producing world class shuttlers.
"This is the moment we have all waited for as there are no hostel facilities for players who train at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara all these years. I feel the aspect of accommodation and welfare of players are very important.
"With an academy that has state-of-the-art facilities, it will become a hub for systematic training in the country and help develop quality players, including those from Sabah and Sarawak," Maijol told Bernama here Tuesday.
Maijol hoped national players who are identified to undergo training at the centre, would use the facilities wisely and help Malaysia to become a powerhouse in badminton, once again.