Yasshmita earns full scholarship, will train under renowned coach

J. Yasshmita’s ambition to become an established professional squash player received a massive boost when she earned a full scholarship from the University of West England (UWE) and will get to train under renowned coach Hadrian Stiff. Yasshmita, 18, is also the first student to receive a full sports scholarship from UWE where the Negri Sembilan lass will be studying business management and continue training under Stiff and John Welton for the next four years. Stiff is no stranger to Malaysian squash as he has been coaching world No. 17 Ng Eain Yow and the 20-year-old C. Ameeshenraj at the same university in Bristol. Yasshmita’s father V. Jadish Kumar said her daughter also received a scholarship from the University of Birmingham after completing her A levels at Tettenhall College in Wolverhampton but the offer from UWE was too good to refuse. The fact that she will be able to train under Stiff and Wellton and also have regular sparring with five-time Commonwealth Games champion Joelle King of New Zealand, the world No. 4, had been the pulling factor. “We are so happy that her hard work has paid off as she is the first player to receive a 100% sports scholarship from UWE and she will be able to train under Stiff and Welton,” said Jadish yesterday. “We did receive an offer from University of Birmingham but they only offered a 50% scholarship and we decided on moving to UWE. “Besides that, our own players Yow and Ameeshen have also been progressing well in Bristol and that is another motivation for Yasshmita. “Stiff has also stated that the objective is to see Yasshmita push herself and make it into the top 20 in two years time. “Her training and competitions locally will be borne by UWE but I will be sourcing individual sponsorships for her to continue playing in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour.” Jadish has been seeking sponsors and also self-funding Yasshmita since she moved to the United Kingdom two years ago as she is not part of the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia’s (SRAM) programme. However, the player had managed to play in sufficient tournaments and also continued to do well in her studies, and is currently ranked 95th in the world. She has been training under Fathi Seliman at Tettenhall while another experienced coach John Tate, witnessing her talent, had also included her in the University of Birmingham’s squash team during the period. Being part of the Birmingham Lions, the university team, had also helped Yasshmita play in the Premier Squash League, a mixed team event that features several top 10 players, this season. “Tate has done so much and Yasshmita owes it to him for where she is now, and Fathi had also been instrumental in her career,” added Jadish. “UWE now has offered her an excellent chance to take her game to another level and we are looking forward to seeing her develop into a better player.” Yasshmita, who will start her training and studies at UWE in September, can also look to S. Sivasangari as an inspiration as the latter’s attachment at the Cornell University in New York under coach David Palmer for the last four years has seen her rise to top 20 in the world rankings.

Courtesy from – Bernama