Chipping in for sporting excellence

Four new charter members have extended a lifeline of RM15,000 each per year for three years towards SportExcel’s 13 sports circuits, aimed at nurturing young talent.

They are Genting Malaysia Bhd, Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd, Corporate Information Travel Sdn Bhd and Quest International University Perak, taking the total number of such participants to 21, making their contributions in cash and kind.

Corporate support has been key to SportExcel’s success, in a span of 27 years and counting, in cycling (BMX), taekwondo, cricket, lawn tennis, tenpin bowling, gymnastics, shooting, squash, swimming, athletics, sepak takraw and golf.

SportExcel chairman Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar (picture), in thanking the new donors, said he is looking forward to six other companies coming into the fold at year-end. It took some RM1 million to run the circuits year in, year out, so the greater the support, the better the programme.

“We believe sports is the best platform to unite the country’s different races and develop character, besides bringing fame and glory to the nation,” he said.

Among the notables who have benefitted from SportExcel are Datuk Nicol David (squash), who reigned as World No 1 for years; Shalin Zulkifli (bowling), who rose to be Asian No 1; Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa (cycling), both representing the country and winning international honours; and Gavin Green (golf), who is currently making a name for himself as a professional golfer.

Annually, some 12 to 15 junior athletes (mainly golf and squash) receive scholarships to attend colleges in America.