The Nicol David Organisation (NDO) has welcomed a big Malaysian sponsorship boost to the tune of RM1 million (£185,000), as the squash great’s non-profit organisation continues to grow.
Launched last year with its lead programme Little Legends, the NDO seeks to build a positive future through a subsidised after-school programme of squash training and English tutoring for children from low- and mid-income families between the ages of 8 and 12.
David received the organisation’s latest boost from Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), the philanthropic arm of the conglomerate. It will commit the funds for the three-year programme.
Around 60 students from four schools have been involved in the Little Legends programme since launch. Another 60 are set to join this month.
Honorary International Olympic Committee member and former world squash president Tunku Imran said: “I’m a sportsperson who has played many sports. I enjoy playing squash and want to see the sport grow in Malaysia. And I’m happy that Nicol, who was the greatest squash player in the world, had started the Little Legends programme.
“We (YSD and NDO) have a big responsibility for the Little Legends programme, and we will do what we can to make sure the programme grows.
“To be a successful athlete you not only need to be fit and good in your sport, but you must also have the brains and be able to speak in English, which is the global language.”
Meanwhile David said: “I’m certain that the combination of both will produce more holistic athletes with the confidence and resilience.
“With more sponsorships, we can expand the programme to other states in the country.
“This programme, which we started last June, has been successful as the children have made steady progress in squash and are able to communicate in English.”