New Straits Times - - Sport -

about eight years ago.

Sel­vara­joo, a na­tional cham­pion in the 1980s, wanted Theiviya to suc­ceed his fam­ily’s le­gacy in the sport.

Theiviya picked up the rac­quet when she was nine-years-old and started spar­ring with vet­eran play­ers at Rain­tree Club in Am­pang, where Sel­vara­joo used to coach.

“Theiviya used to watch me coach oth­ers at Rain­tree club and soon she started play­ing with the older play­ers at the cen­tre,” said Sel­vara­joo.

Theiviya earn a two-year spon­sor­ship from a lead­ing in­sur­ance com­pany when she was 15-years-old.

The 23-year-old did well in the first year of spon­sor­ship but did not go for any tour­na­ments in the fol­low­ing year as her fa­ther was ap­pointed as na­tional coach in 2009.

“It was the big­gest mis­take of my life as I fo­cused more on be­ing the na­tional coach, rather than guid­ing her.

“The in­sur­ance com­pany got fed up and ter­mi­nated the spon­sor­ship in Au­gust 2010. When I got the let­ter by mail from them, I cried as I re­alised that I should have fo­cused on my daugh­ter.

“There were a lot of things hap­pen­ing af­ter that. I re­signed

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