New Vision Badminton Academy hopes deal with African confederation will attract sponsors

Yeoh Kay Bin

Former national shuttler Yeoh Kay Bin is excited about his new challenge. Yeoh, one of the founders of New Vision Badminton Academy (NVBA), will lead six other coaches to uplift the standards of African players ahead of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

NVBA was initially to have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) at its centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on Monday, but it has been rescheduled to 10am tomorrow.

BCA’s chief executive officer, Jeff Shigoli, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general secretary Datuk Kenny Goh, and several Badminton World Federation (BWF) officials are expected to attend the function.

Yeoh hopes the partnership will attract more sponsors to NVBA, which has several promising players in its stable.

“We are grateful that BCA recognised our efforts to promote badminton and want us to uplift the standards of players from that continent,” said Yeoh, who returned to Malaysia in 2021 after spending seven years coaching alongside Li Mao in Shenzhen, China.

“Africa has produced many talented players, and our responsibility is to help them continue to develop. The goal is to maximise the number of African players qualifying for the Olympics.

“We have five years to do that.”

Yeoh, who opened NVBA with K. Yogendran and R. Manojkumar 14 years ago, said he was delighted the centre had flourished, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

He is also pleased that Yogendran is now the national women’s singles coach.

“Yogendran deserves the chance to work with BAM as he has proven himself at NVBA and also with Mauritius, where he was the head coach,” said Yeoh.

“He also did development work in Kerala, India, with his wife K. Sugita. They have helped NVBA grow, and we now have centres in Dubai and China.”

Yeoh said his experience in China was an eye-opener.

He said the players’ hunger and desire to succeed pushed him to become a better coach.

“There are so many players who want to make the grade that they are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to make it to the top,” he said.

“To help them improve, I also had to find ways to become a better coach. It was tough but enjoyable. I am using those skills here at NVBA.”

Yeoh said he hopes the partnership with BCA will open the eyes of corporations as NVBA needs sponsorship.

“I train the elite shuttlers in NVBA. There are a couple of players who have the potential to make it to the national team,” said Yeoh.

“However, we must send them to more overseas tournaments to get exposure.

“We do everything on our own with no assistance from government agencies. It can get quite expensive. If we can help BCA achieve its goals, that will open the eyes of sponsors,” he added.