KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shuttlers who are not under the national Podium Programme will still have access to state-of-the art facilities and sports science amenities thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which was signed between the BA of Malaysia (BAM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) on Tuesday.
BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria believes the move will not only save players and coaches travel time, but will help junior shuttlers condition themselves into adapting a high-performance culture.
"Our elite shuttlers are under the Podium Programme and they have access to the facilities at the National Sports Institution (NSI). (For) those under the Kita Juara programme, we are still waiting to know, as they will have to gear up for the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year.
"But come next year, we will have at least 180-200 players under one roof here at our academy (Academy Badminton Malaysia).
"Our junior shuttlers, who are now based at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) will all be here next year.
"This memorandum signing will allow them to have access to the facilities at UM, which is not far from the academy.
"Our discussions with UM began about three months ago, so it is with immediate effect that our players will have access to their track, swimming pool and other sports science facilities" Norza said after the signing ceremony at Bukit Kiara.
Also present at the event were UM's development deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamad Adikan, Professor Dr Zulqarnain Mohamed (director, Sports Centre UM), BAM secretary general Datuk Ng Chin Chai and BAM general manager Michelle Chai.