redONE Network Sdn Bhd CEO Farid Yunus (centre) poses with participants of the redONE Selangor State Closed Squash Championships yesterday. PIC BY SYARAFIQ ABD SAMAD

THE redONE Selangor State Closed Squash Championships is not just an annual affair for juniors under the Selangor SRA (SRAS), but also a platform for them to get a taste of international action.

The tournament, which has been running for more than three decades, is used for ranking purposes in five categories — Under-9, Under-11, Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 — where the top players are regularly sent for international junior Opens, such as the prestigious British Junior and Scottish Junior Opens and other major age-group events held in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India and several other countries.

“While the top four players from each category are funded by the National Sports Council (NSC), we subsidise the cost for other deserving players under SRAS programme,” said SRAS president Farid Yunus, who is also the chief executive officer of main sponsors redOne Network Sdn Bhd.

“The NSC funding is only for players who are with the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), so we assist parents whose children are not part of the programme and rely on corporate sponsorship to help develop our young talents.”

A total of 251 boys and girls under the SRAS development programme are competing in the tournament, which began at the Astaka Sports Complex in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

The finals will be on Sunday.

The Under-19 event has been scrapped due to a lack of entries, with players aged above 17 competing in the men and women’s Open categories.

Meanwhile, SRAS’ top Under-15 player, Zach Tay Jun Qian, will receive funding to play in the British Junior Open in January from redOne.

It is also likely to spend about RM50,000 to sponsor former world junior champion Ng Eain Yow, who will be based in England for four years.

RedOne also sponsors Terengganu FC and Police in the Malaysia Super League.