Malaysia’s New Vision Badminton Academy to train coaches, players from Africa

New Vision Badminton Academy (NVBA) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, has earned a reputation for producing talented players.

The Malaysian academy’s work has not gone unnoticed, and on Sept 25, it will finalise a deal with the Badminton Confederation of Africa to help train coaches and players from that continent for the next five years.

The coaches and players from Africa will be trained in Malaysia.

Started in 2009 by former national players K. Yogendran, Yeoh Kay Bin, and R. Manojkumar, NVBA has stood the test of time.

In 2018, Yogendran and his wife, K. Sugita, set up an academy in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Now, comes its next challenge.

“Yogendran has a good relationship with African nations as he was previously the coach of Mauritius (2018-2021),” said Sugita, a director at NVBA.

“In 2010, South Africa’s Jacob Maliekal started training with us to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Within two years, he narrowly missed qualifying for the London Games. He achieved his goal four years later.

“Since 2012, we have had at least one foreign player based with us who made it to the Olympics. That could be what caught BCA’s attention.”

Sugita, a former national player, said the five-year deal makes sense as the Paris Olympics is less than a year away.

“We will not have time to help the players as we are already halfway through the Olympic qualifying period,” she said, when met at the academy earlier today.

“I believe we can help them for the 2028 Olympics. It is always good to have long-term plans.”

Sugita said Yeoh will lead a team of six coaches, as Yogendran is now Malaysia’s national women’s singles coach.

Yeoh returned to Malaysia in 2021 after spending seven years in China, coaching alongside the legendary Li Mao, one of the coaches responsible for making Datuk Lee Chong Wei, a world No. 1.

“We also have centres in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and China,” said Sugita.

“If everything goes well, the players may have the chance to train in Dubai and perhaps China.

“We are lucky Kay Bin is back in Malaysia. He learnt a lot in China. His experience will surely benefit our players and those from Africa.”

Yeoh, a bronze medallist at the 2007 Asian Championships, said it was good to be back in Malaysia.

“I had a wonderful time in China, but nothing beats home,” said Yeoh, winner of two international tournaments.

“It was hard in the beginning, as 2021 was the height of Covid-19. But now, I see more opportunities.

“I am excited to work with BCA and hope to help them produce many Olympians,” Yeoh added.

Main image (from left): Yeoh, Yogendran and Sugita at New Vision Badminton  Academy in Petaling Jaya.