Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Arena Nicol David

The centre court of the National Squash Centre is now known as Arena Nicol David. It was launched by the Sports Minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, a short while ago, a fitting tribute to Nicol, a gem from the Pearl of the Orient.

UPDATES, with pictures. Oct 21, 6.45am

Arena Nicol David...the Penang lass is in esteemed company as similar tributes had been accorded to tennis legends Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King as well as two speed merchants, Ato Boldon and Usain Bolt

Loose cannon is nervous coming face to face with the World No 1, a few months back

The unveiling of the Arena Nicol David

The former Penang State football goalkeeper and progenitor of a world champion

Mishaps prior to the ceremony were overcome

from www.thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Tears of joy flowed down the cheeks of Malaysian squash icon Nicol David as her name was immortalised at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The centre court was officially renamed the Nicol David Arena in recognition of her achievements, including four World Open titles and being ranked No. 1 since January, 2006.

Nicol was her usual cool self as a video of her former coaches and school teachers reliving the moments was aired to the audience, who also included her proud parents and athletes from Bukit Jalil Sports School.

But the 26-year-old broke down as she was asked to make a speech after the official unveiling ceremony was done in glitzy fashion.

Nicol, who was initially lost for words as she was overwhelmed by the occasion, said that she felt deeply honoured to see her name put on the court.

“To be recognised by the country, the state and everyone present here, this is truly amazing,” she said.

“I’m grateful that the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council have been so supportive of what I am doing.

“It means a lot to be where I am today. And to have come to this point to put my name on this court ... this is the icing on the cake.”

Nicol added that the recognition was a further boost to her efforts to continue with her dominance in world women’s squash.

The Penangite is one of the most accomplished players on the Women’s International Squash Professional Association (Wispa) circuit, having won a total of 40 titles thus far since turning professional in 2000.

She was also the youngest world junior champion and has won the national sportswoman award for a record six times.

Except for a Commonwealth Games title, Nicol has won all other major titles squash has to offer, including the Asian Games and the prestigious British Open in which she is a three-time winner. She will get the chance to nail the elusive Commonwealth Games gold medal in New Delhi next year.

“I hope to stay on top of my game as next year will be a big year for Malaysian sports. There are more tournaments to come and I have to step up training,” said Nicol, who later handed the very first squash racquet she owned to Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

The wooden racquet will be put on display along with her trophies at the gallery in the National Squash Centre.


jalan hang jebat said...

coming soon...?

Stadium Badminton Dato' Lee Chong Wei!
Velodrome Azizulhasni Awang!

Tahniah Dato' Nicol...!

Anonymous said...

why not name the whole arena after her - Nicol David National Squash Centre.

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Incik Rizal, regret saya not famil1ar with the named person.
But still, it's nice naming it after a well known personality.
You have a pleasant week, best regards, Lee.

momo said...

we are proud of her but the government is not. why? i do not subscribe astro and until today i haven't seen her playing full game live on any tv stations!

Pelapis-future champions said...


Anonymous said...

Momo, Nicol's actions were always on Astro SuperSports whenever she took part in KL Open or M'sia Open. RTM unable to telecast it live perhaps due to long air time but yet they still show the highlights of the events week later. However regret to say that we missed her actions during previous & this year World C'ships. Astro..RTM please answer...


Azmi said...

Congratulations to Nicol David. However Rizal, I feel that naming the centre court after her is quite premature.

Nothing against her, she deserves it. But she's still active isn't she? What precedence have we in naming a sports arena after an active athlete. It's as if she has reached her pinnacle. She's only 26 u know. At least another 10 years in her squash career (injury permitting).

Again I'd like to reiterate that i have all the respect in the world for Nicol and her family for the sacrifices they've made in order to get where she is now. But then again, my personal view is that naming a sports venue after an active athlete is premature. I see the Roger Federer Arena the same way.


amak said...

Nak tenguk bagaimana mantan menteri belia dan sukan rompak duit kita dan beli kereta mewah, lihat sebahagian dari kereta mewah dia yang kami siarkan , tolong sebarkan agar dia tidak lari dari hukuman merompak kita semua , lihatlah.

azam said...

Saya rasa Nicol layak berdasarkan prestasi beliau yang sebenarnya mengkagumkan dalam dunia skuasy termasuk atlit-atlit dari negara-negara lain.

Kita tak lihat penghargaan sebegini sebagai pembakar semangat bagi atlit-atlit skuasy yang lain.