Things have been looking up for badminton player Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉). Zii Jia definitely needs it, especially after he made the bold decision to become a professional player. His decision led to a fallout with The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) but thankfully, got their blessings in the end.
Now that he’s on the road to being a solo player, Zii Jia has been making a lot of changes (including his Instagram name). One of his first acts going pro is to form his own badminton club and to hire coach Indra Wijaya. Recently, Zii Jia shared a little about his plans for his club.
On 15th February (Tuesday), Youth and Sports Deputy Minister Ti Lian Ker confirmed the formation of Zii Jia’s club aptly named Lee Zii Jia Badminton Club. Additionally, the statement announced that Indonesian coach Indra Wijaya would be joining Zii Jia’s club to lend him a hand. It’s rather timely as Indra’s contract with BAM is set to end by 31st March.
Zii Jia had previously alluded to having a few candidates for his coaching position. However, he ultimately chose Indra and claimed the Indonesian coach had been his sole choice. “Personally, I am very happy at being able to work with coach Indra again,” he stated. According to Zii Jia, Indra had been there since his junior years and had been one of the coaches who helped him climb to the top. “He is a coach who is very focused on his players and gives plenty of advice,” Zii Jia added.
After securing Indra as his coach, Zii Jia is now hoping to appoint a physiotherapist and fitness coach as well. He’s aiming to take his team to the German Open scheduled 8th to13th March. However, he had no plans to train young shuttlers at the club. “If I did not form this sports club, maybe I would have borrowed another club. So, that’s why I set up this club to hire coach Indra,” Zii Jia admitted. “I don’t know where the club will be based yet.”
Zii Jia may not have everything worked out just yet, but he knows exactly what he wants. “My main target after this is to play in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” he told the media confidently. After watching him beat Singapore’s Loh Kean Yen in the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC), it certainly seems likely.
Fans have been wishing Zii Jia well in his endeavours as a professional player. Although some are doubtful if he can pull off his goals, others are staunchly rooting for him to excel. We certainly hope to see his performance on the court rise from here on out!