SRAM have big plans for Beng Hee

New Straits Times - - Sport - Singh Devin­der

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

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