Badminton: Malaysia's Lyddia Cheah makes Team Derby move
Last Updated: 05/08/15 8:40pm
The National Badminton League will welcome its first player from the Far East into action after Team Derby, the University of Derby’s NBL franchise, confirmed the signing of South East Asian Games bronze medallist Lyddia Cheah Yi Yu for the 2015/16 season.
The Malaysian singles specialist comes with an impressive record having been part of the Malaysian mixed team squad that won team gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2009 South East Asian Championships.
The 25-year-old has a career high world ranking of 29, has faced the world’s best players on the BWF Superseries circuit and has ambitions to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
She also comes with team league competition experience having been part of the Petaling Jaya BC squad that were runners up in the Purple League - Malaysia’s own national league.
Cheah has been recruited as part of Team Derby’s mission to establish firm roots in the Far East through their connections with University of Derby. Cheah has been offered a sports science scholarship to study at the University of Derby in a move that has delighted head coach Donna Kellogg.
Kellogg said “Bringing the first Asian player to the league is a huge achievement for Team Derby and the league and sends a message out to how serious we are about our title defence.
"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with Lyddia on a regular basis. She's going to have some of the best support as part of our performance programme and we hope the NBL side will benefit as a result.
"We are delighted to have Lyddia on board to help us build on last season’s success."
Team Derby’s marquee signing of Cheah comes just three weeks after Adrian Christy, CEO of league organisers Badminton England, declared the NBL’s intentions to entice top Asian talent into the NBL to add more global appeal.