Petaling Jaya

National doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong have turned to Petaling Badminton Club (PBC) to support their pursuit of glory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

PBC founder Datuk Jack Koh has confirmed that the club, formerly known as Looi Badminton Academy, had roped in the Rio Olympics silver medallists and assured the duo of full backing.

V Shem is playing for Petaling BC in the ongoing SS Purple League (SSPL) where the team are currently third in the eight-team standings, while Wee Kiong is not attached to any of the clubs.

Jack is aware that V Shem-Wee Kiong’s immediate concern will be to generate enough sponsorships to fund their training and tournament expenses over the next two years.

“We’re currently assisting V Shem and Wee Kiong to secure some deals,” said Jack, who’s also the founder of SSPL.

“Our main sponsors Platinum Victory and Top Glove are supportive of us lending these players a hand as they, too, are keen to be part of the badminton development. So, hopefully more private companies can play their parts too.

“This is especially a crucial time for professional players and the country’s sports development, considering the new government now prioritises its budget on more important things elsewhere,” added Jack, who’s a strong advocate of the club system and decentralisation in badminton.

While Petaling BC can help V Shem-Wee Kiong to address their financial needs, Jack was quick to stress the importance of players maintaining a close working relationship with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

“Do bear in mind that independent players are Malaysian flag bearers too and they are playing for the country,” said Jack.

“While the clubs can provide quality venues and training sessions, surely we’re still lagging behind when it comes to support services and high-quality sparring sessions.

“So these players definitely still need all the world-class support services from the National Sports Institute in order to maintain their physical conditioning at the highest level.

“The same goes for the BAM. Why not allow the professional players to spar and compete in match play at least two to three times a week? It could be a win-win situation because BAM players also need good sparring sessions to improve,” he said.