(File pix) National tennis coach Adam Jaya (right). Pix by Aswadi Alias

KUALA LUMPUR: National coaches Zulkhairi Mohd Khir and Adam Jaya have voiced their concerns over the impending privatisation of the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Jalan Duta.

Zulkhairi, who is also a development officer with the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM), is worried about the threat of elevated rental costs that could affect the national team's training and development programmes.

"In addition to being a national coach, one of my main responsibilities is grassroots development and also education," said Zulkhairi.

"We use a lot of courts and also a lecture room to carry out these programmes.

"At the moment we pay RM15 per hour for each outdoor court, which we use up to seven hours at a time from 8am to 5pm, and RM20 per hour for the lecture room.

"When NTC is privatised the core business for the new company will be court rental and rates may go up.

"Even at this current rate, the rental costs take up 75 per cent of our allocated budget. A raise in rates will make it hard for us to run our programmes," said Zulkhairi.

Adam said: "National players, especially the elite squad, must continue to enjoy easy access to the courts at NTC.

"Jalan Duta is the base of the national tennis squad.

"It has been used by LTAM for decades.

"It is important that they can continue to have easy access to all the courts and facilties here, regardless of whoever comes in," said Adam.

NTC is currently maintained by the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM), who are looking to give NTC a new lease of life by privatising it as the company that takes over will also be expected to conduct development programmes.

Privatisation will also help save on maintenance costs.

PSM are expected to make a decision soon.

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