SRAM have big plans for Beng Hee
WITH two of his charges now in the Podium Programme, Ong Beng Hee is well on his way towards becoming Malaysian squash’s head coach.
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president Huang Yi How made no secret of Beng Hee’s importance to the national body when hiring the former World No 7 as coach in 2015.
With national junior S. Sivasangari joining Ivan Yuen as Podium Programme athletes, SRAM are looking to get Beng Hee extra remuneration while continuing to groom him for his future role.
“As of now, Peter Genever is the only full-time squash coach under the Podium Programme with Liz Irving, Aaron Soyza and Ong Beng Hee on a contractual or part-time basis,” said SRAM director of coaching Mej (rtd) S. Maniam yesterday.
“But now that Sangari is in the programme, we are looking at how best to compensate Beng Hee and giving a remuneration in view of the added responsibility.
“More importantly, however, is that we are grooming Beng Hee into someone capable of eventually becoming head coach of Malaysian squash.”
Sivasangari, 18, and world junior champion Ng Eain Yow were recently added to the Podium Programme with a view towards winning medals at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year in Jakarta and Gold Coast respectively.
The other squash players in the programme are eight-time world champion Nicol David, Low Wee Wern, Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan.
Maniam said SRAM will soon add former national player Kenny Foo to their stable of coaches and fill the vacancy left by Raymond Arnold’s departure in December.
Recently retired national champion Delia Arnold has also indicated an interest in trying her hand at coaching with a possibility of working with Bukit Jalil Sports School players as a start.
“Besides working with the BJSS kids, she could also work with some of the senior girls and share her experience with them of playing on the PSA Tour,” said Maniam. “Players like Sangari and Andrea Lee can learn from her.”
Meanwhile, Sea Games defending champion Rachael Arnold was denied a place in the Texas Open main draw after a 12-10, 119, 11-5 defeat to Japan’s World No 42 Misaki Kobayashi in the final qualifying round in Dallas on Wednesday.
World No 54 Rachael, who defeated American Reyna Pacheco in her first match, was the second Malaysian to exit the tournament after Sivasangari fell 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 to Egypt’s world junior runner-up Rowan Elaraby in the opening round of qualifying.
Both players now head to Calgary for the Women’s Squash Week Open next week.
Ong Beng Hee