Friday, June 13, 2008

A Federer in the making?

Ahmad Deedat...hmm that is a famous name. It belongs to the late South African Islamic scholar (first pic).

But young Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak (second pic, courtesy of the Star), surely named after the first one, is determined to create an impression in the world of tennis.

Malay Mail carried this story two days ago...

IT may not have been millions, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It also indicates corporate bodies are willing to step in and fund our up-coming athletes.

CIMB Foundation will provide a total of RM132,720 to youngster Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak for the next six months in a bid for him to break into the top eight of the ATF Under-14 circuit.

The sponsorship came as a pleasant surprise to Ahmed, who turns 13 next Wednesday.

“The money will help me prepare better and I hope to fulfil my dream,” said Ahmed.

“I like Roger Federer as he’s good on any surface and his strokes are flawless.”

Ahmed, who picked up the sport at the tender age of eight thanks to his father Abdul Razak Yusof, has played in several local and international meets including winning both the National Boys Under-12 and the Junior Circuit (Boys Under-12) Masters singles events last year.

Currently home-schoolled, Ahmed is coached by his father along with ex-Davis Cupper Filipino Ronald Martin.

He is the top ranked boys Under-14 player in the country and is placed 17th in the ATF standings.

Ahmed was met at the sponsorship presentation ceremony at CIMB Building on Tuesday.

Also present were CIMB Foundation Board of Trustees chairperson Tan Sri Datuk Seri Siti Norma Yaakob and Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) president Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff.

Abdul Razak is elated more companies are stepping forward to aid the development of tennis in the country.

“We’ve had a list of companies coming in this year mainly Prudential, Allianz and now CIMB.

“It’s a breath of fresh air as the money will certainly help ease the burden of the players and allow them to play in more tournaments overseas,” said Abdul Razak.

LTAM will open their doors for Ahmed to spar with the other national players during centralised training.

“Ahmed is free to spar with the other national trainees and if he sticks to his form, he’ll surely have a bright future in tennis.”

The Star had this a day earlier

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirteen-year-old Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak has received monetary boost from the CIMB Foundation to help him in the pursuit of a professional tennis career.

Ahmed is now ranked 17th in the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) Under-14 circuit and the aim is for the Selangor lad to get among the top eight by the end of the year.

The foundation’s chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, said that they were impressed with the talent, commitment and potential showed by Ahmed in winning numerous championships and titles over the past four years.

“We want to nurture his talent in the right direction,” said Siti Norma after signing a sponsorship agreement yesterday with Ahmed’s father Abdul Razak Mohd Yusoff.

Under the agreement, the foundation will provide RM132,720 for training and development programmes over the next six months.

Ahmed began competing in the national circuit in 2005. In the national junior rankings, he is the current number one in the boys’ Under-14 category.

Abdul Razak said the financial support from the foundation would further motivate his son to excel in the sport.

“I have secured the services of Filipino Ronald (Martin), an ex-Davis Cupper. With the guidance of Ronald, I believe my son will get among the top eight in the ATF Circuit by the end of the year,” he said.

Abdul Razak added that his son, who hopes to turn pro in five years’ time, would feature in 10 ATF Circuit tournaments, starting in Syria on Monday.

CIMB, as we are all fully aware, likes to associate themselves with winners. A case in point, squash queen-cum-CIMB ambassador, Nicol Ann David, who was recently conferred Darjah Bakti by Yang di-Pertuan Agong, DYMM Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Malaysians in general must start thinking on making inroads in individual sports.

No comments: