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Rising Star Juniors - Underprivileged Youth Golf Programme Gets Extension

Following the success of Rising Star Juniors (RSJ) Batch 1 programme since it was first launched in 2015, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has extended funding into the programme for another two years from May 2017 to March 2019.

Initiated by Malaysia’s premier golf and country club in partnership with MST Golf Sdn Bhd, the RSJ programme aims to provide opportunity for youths from disadvantaged backgrounds to excel in golf.

With the extension of the RSJ programme for another two years, youths aged between 7 and 14 years old from various local charity homes were invited to RSJ’s Batch 2 Assessment Camp at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s Performance Centre on 22 April 2017.

More than 40 youths attended the RSJ Batch 2 Assessment Camp and underwent a screening process via a series of physical fitness tests monitored by certified instructors and a total of 15 trainees were selected for the Batch 2 programme. The successful candidates will receive complimentary professional golf coaching starting May 2017, training equipment, and transportation to and from TPC Kuala Lumpur throughout the programme.

To date, eight excellent trainees from Batch 1 have successfully completed the two year programme and are voluntarily lending a hand to assist the RSJ Batch 2 trainees to familiarize with the game of golf as well as further refine their golfing skills.

“Considering the challenging backgrounds of the RSJ participants in this first ever unique programme, their progress has been extraordinary. We are effectively using the game of golf to shift the elitism perception and positively instilling Malaysian youths with the core values of golf i.e. honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.” said Steven Thielke, Chief Executive Officer of TPC Kuala Lumpur.

A memorable graduation ceremony for the Batch 1 participants was held at TPC Kuala Lumpur on the same day. Thielke presented certificates to the eight deserving participants to mark their graduation from the first two years of the RSJ programme. They are Adrian Pang ( 19) , Ezza Najihah Mohiddin (18), Syafiqah Alia Suhaili (18), Nur Batrisyah Azmi (18), Mohd Watiq Fiqhrie Manap (17), Mazlina Nazri (17), Hamikah Hamdi (15) and Muhd Nur Aqil (15).The ‘Most Improved Student’ was awarded to Mohd Watiq Fiqhrie and the ‘Most Committed Student’ was awarded to Mazlina Nazri received special mention for their extra effort. Family and friends gathered around to watch the proud moment of the ceremony as each of the participants received their graduation certificates.
During the two years of training, the trainees were exposed to various exciting events, tours and activities. These included being a part of the volunteer programme in Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Guided Walk during CIMB Classic, School Holiday Accelerator Camp, Golf Clinics with famous golfers such as Christina Kim, Marijo Uribe, Michelle Koh, Michelle Low, Natasha Oon and Bryan Teoh, competing in golf events such as Junior Monthly Medal and MyFutures Junior Tour for greater exposure.

Apart from learning and exceling in the game of golf, four Batch 1 participants who finished secondary school are currently employed with the clubhouse in the areas of retail at MST Pro Shop, Sports & Recreation as well as Golf Operations. This is one of the extended support that TPC Kuala Lumpur and MST Golf provides in ensuring ample opportunities are given to RSJ participants within the golf industry.

“The team has given their full commitment in developing RSJ trainees to where they are today. Our role in guiding and giving opportunity to them is another small contribution to the community. Our special thanks to Yayasan Sime Darby, sponsors and partners who have been so supportive of this wonderful programme,” Thielke said.

The Rising Star Juniors programme is divided into three phases:-
Phase 1 in April 2017 began with the screening of 40 participants from various local homes at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s Performance Centre from an extensive assessment camp for the selection of 15 junior, Batch 2.
Phase 2 began in May where both Batch 1 and Batch 2 trainees started a – 30 week training stint at TPC Kuala Lumpur two times a week for 4 hours.
Phase 3 is a continuity programme where the junior trainees will be recommended to train for an additional 50 weeks under the advanced 9-level training programme.