KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has assured national shuttlers that their training programmes will not be disrupted by the temporary closure of the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara for renovations ahead of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
BAM deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Malaysia Stadium Corporation has given a directive to close the Juara Stadium until February.
He was confident the National Badminton Academy, located behind the Juara Stadium, could be used in stages next month.
“The process of handing over the academy is being discussed between the ministry, Works Department and the contractor. The academy is expected to be handed over by February.
“We hope the 18 badminton courts now can be replaced with 18 badminton courts at the academy later. For the initial stage, we will get the office and badminton hall,” he told reporters at the Sime Darby Convention Centre here.
Mohamad Norza said the whole facility at the Badminton Academy could be used by March or April.
Work on the eight-storey badminton academy, which has facilities such as badminton courts, gymnasium, auditorium, multi-purpose area, office, parking lot and hostel, started on March 3, 2014.
Mohamad Norza was met by reporters at the Astro-Bam exclusive broadcasting right cooperation ceremony, for five years until Oct 2021.
Astro Arena would give comprehensive coverage of domestic and international championships through Arena 801 and 802HD channels and via Astro SuperSport and Astro on the Go networks.
Through the cooperation, BAM appointed Astro Arena as the exclusive official broadcasting partner in Malaysia and Brunei for the Malaysian Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships, National Badminton Championships, Super Series Malaysia Open Badminton Championships and Malaysia International Challenge Badminton Championships.
BAM acting president, Tan Sri Mohd Al-Amin said the cooperation agreement with Astro Arena since 2010 had turned Badminton into one of the most popular sports in the country.
Astro Arena chief of staff (News and Magazines Division) Ahmad Khawari Mohd Isa said the five-year investment of RM66 million encompassed promotion of players, sponsorship and broadcasting payment, production costs and marketing. — Bernama