The academy in Ipoh aims to maintain badminton as the country’s No. 1 sport.
The launch of the Lee Chong Wei Badminton Academy at the Klebang Masters Badminton Club (MBC) on 22 Jul was attended by some 700 guests, including coaches, parents and young shuttlers aged six to 18 from various schools and orphanages.
The three-time Olympics silver medallist played six matches with the selected young shuttlers from various schools and badminton academies. The youngsters were euphoric at the opportunity to play with their hero.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei said the aim of the LCW Badminton Academy is to maintain badminton as the country’s No. 1 sport.
“We hope via this academy, we can produce lots of good junior players which can be sent to the BA of Malaysia once they have mastered the basics of the sport,” he told the Mail Mail.
Lee said setting up the academy was his way of fulfilling a pledge born out of difficult times, to help children who struggled like him in the sport.
He said the academy targets 700 players in his birth state of Perak. He also intends to open academies in Kuala Lumpur and Johor in the near future.
MBC Co-founder Tan Say Yap said the academy’s training programme offers more than just physical training and includes extracurricular activities such as first-aid classes, injury management classes, nutrition workshops, video analysis, competition and team-building.
He added that students under the programme can vie for the Lee Chong Wei Scholarship.
He also revealed that Old Town White Coffee will be contributing an RM1 million Scholarship Fund to the LCW Badminton Academy for a period of five years.