A huge 10-court badminton complex was launched on Tuesday, June 20 at YMCA Ipoh.

The guest of honour was Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, the Executive Councillor for Health, Public Transport, Non-Islamic Affairs, National Integration and New Villages. Present were Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian, chief executive of?cer of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Dato’ Daniel Tay, president YMCA Ipoh, Puan Sri Dato’ Sandra Lee and Datin Lim Soo Lee.

“YMCA Ipoh, in a way, was a pioneer for Perak Badminton Association which started here. If you refer to Ho Tak Ming’s book, ‘Ipoh When Tin Was King’, they organised the first championship in Perak state here in 1930. The following year the Perak Badminton Association was formed. The president then was John L. Woods who went on to become the first president of the Badminton Association of Malaya. Taking the cue from here, you can see the major role played by YMCA Ipoh in generating interest for the game in our country,” Mah said.

Between 1930s and 1940s, there were many championship cups, mostly donated by mining tycoons. Together with the efforts of YMCA Ipoh, it had contributed to Malaya winning the Thomas Cup in 1949.

“The Lee family had played a very significant role. The late Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng was an Ipoh municipal councillor when YMCA Ipoh’s involvement in badminton was in its infancy. The family has donated kindly to this badminton complex, hence it has been named after him,” Mah added. The ground-breaking ceremony in 2015 was officiated by Mah himself.

“I must congratulate Dato’ Daniel Tay and his committee for coming up with two brilliant projects for the betterment of our city. One is a hostel and the other, this badminton complex. Sports is a unifying activity. I hope YMCA Ipoh will continue with their sporting events to instil muhibah (goodwill) in the city,” said Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian.

Worth over RM2 million, the complex has been operating for the last two months with encouraging response. RM1,700,000 has been raised so far. There is still a shortfall of over RM300,000. Those who wish to donate can call 05 254 0809 and ask for Michael Thong or Vicky Law.

Donors who have contributed more than RM30,000 will have the courts named after them.

At any one time, two courts will be allocated for public use.

There will be no charge for people with special needs and occasions who write in to YMCA Ipoh. Students below the age of 18 get to play from Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 5pm. Rate is RM10 per hour.

Court rental price for walk-ins:

Mondays to Fridays: RM12 per hour from 9am to 5pm and RM18 per hour from 5pm to 11pm.

Weekend: RM18 per hour from 9am to 11pm.

The complex is located at 211, Jalan Raja Musa Aziz (Anderson Road), 30300 Ipoh, Perak. For bookings and enquiries call 011 5133 6636.

Mei Kuan