CIMB Foundation today announced its sponsorship of 13-year old Ahmed Deedat Abd Razak, one of the country's rising tennis stars, to enable him to pursue a professional tennis career.
Tan Sri Dato' Seri Siti Norma Yaakob, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, CIMB Foundation said: "The Foundation is honoured to provide financial support to Ahmed Deedat as we want to help him realise his ambition to be ranked as among the top 8 players in the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) Under 14 circuit by 31 December 2008." Ahmed Deedat is now ranked 17th in the ATF circuit.
Tan Sri Siti Norma said this after signing the sponsorship agreement with Abdul Razak Mohd Yusoff, Ahmed Deedat's father. Under the agreement, CIMB Foundation will provide RM132,000 in total for training and development programmes over the next six months.
She added that the Foundation was impressed with the talent, commitment and potential displayed by Ahmed Deedat since young, winning numerous championships and titles over the past 4 years. "He is currently competing in the various ATF circuit tennis tournaments and we want to nurture his talent in the right direction," she said. Tan Sri Siti Norma said the Foundation is committed in its aim to develop excellence in sports, discover young talents and nurture athletes in high performance sports. "This led to our sponsorship of the CIMB National Junior Circuit for Under 11's and Under 9's, a development programme that seeks to discover young talents from all over the country. The programme has spawned talents like World Squash Champion Nicol David, Ong Beng Hee and Azlan Iskandar," she elaborated.
Ahmed Deedat, who is home-schooled, began competing in the national tennis circuit in 2005. In the National Junior Ranking, he was No.1 in the Boys Under 12 category, and is currently ranked No.1 in the Boys Under 14 category. His other achievements include being the National Under-14 Doubles Champion, Milo National Boys Under-12 Singles Champion and Sportexcel-Milo-NSC-MSSM Junior Circuit Boys Under-12 Singles Champion.
His interest in tennis began at the age of 8, when he followed his father to the courts. "It was then that I discovered Ahmed Deedat's extraordinary talents in tennis. I took up coaching classes as I wanted to nurture his talent,"said Abdul Razak Mohd Yusoff. He has secured the services of Filipino, Ronald Martin, an ex-Davies Cupper and former coach of the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association to coach his son.
"It is heartening to get financial support from CIMB Foundation as my son will benefit from it and will further motivate him to excel in this sport. With more corporate sponsorships like this, Malaysia will be able to regain its glory in various sports,"he added.