Ex-national junior shuttler Roobenraj heads to Qatar on dual mission

Petaling Jaya – Former national junior shuttler V. Roobenraj is ready to create history by becoming the first Malaysian to coach in a Middle Eastern country while, at the same time, use the opportunity to revive his career as a professional player in Qatar.

The 22-year-old will join the New Vision Badminton Club in Doha on a one-year contract from October 20 to train their junior shuttlers and use that opportunity to further improve his badminton skills as well.

“I am so excited at the prospect of playing for and coaching a club in Qatar. I have high ambitions to be a world champion one day.

“It will be a huge new experience for me to take my game to the next level. Thanks to my experience during my time with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), this is the stepping stone for me to explore new frontiers in my game,” he told a press conference here today.

Despite being a first-time coach, the Kulim-born shuttler is ready to give 100 per cent commitment to make turn dream into reality and he is also grateful for the efforts made by Malaysian Indian Badminton Association (Miba) president Datuk V. Radhakrishnan for helping him to further improve his badminton career in Qatar.

Roobenraj, who is a final-year student of a private university, graduated from the Bukit Jalil Sports School and trained under former national coaches such as Jeremy Gan, Cheah Soon Kit and Rosman Razak when he was a junior shuttler with BAM from 2017 to 2018.

Meanwhile, Radhakrishan said the Qatar Badminton Association (QBA) reached out to Miba through a third party recently looking for someone to train their youngsters in a bid to produce the best badminton players in the country by 2030.

He said Roobenraj was the only player who was very keen on being a coach.

“Roobenraj’s salary will be handled by Qatar and he will be under a one-year contract, with an option to extend for one more year should they (QBA) be satisfied with his services,” he said, adding that Roobenraj would complete his final year as a student via online from Qatar.

Meanwhile, Radhakrishnan said that Miba would hold at least three grassroots-level tournaments next year so as to unearth raw talents from among the Indian community while, at the same time, help over 500 Tamil schools with their badminton development programmes.

He pointed out that Miba had received tremendous response and inquiries from Indian parents keen on their children following in the footsteps of national women shuttlers S. Kisona, M. Thinaah and K. Letshanaa, who featured in the recent Sudirman Cup and ongoing Uber Cup competitions. — Bernama

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