Singapore and Cambodia will soon embark on a strategic tennis development partnership that will not only boost the game’s appeal in the two countries, but will also shine a light on the Southeast Asian region as a whole.
The broad outlines of a tennis-dominant alliance that opens up avenues at various levels for budding talent at both ends emerged during hectic parleys yesterday between the visiting Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Sports Council Lim Teck Yin and the Tennis Federation of Cambodia top brass including President Cham Prasidh, secretary general Tep Rithivit and technical director Braen Aneiros.
Another prominent player in these series of productive meetings and discussions which spread out during the day was Robert Davis, who has 22 years of experience as a professional tennis coach and served as technical director and national coach for Peru, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia and now Myanmar. A long time resident of Cambodia, Davis has been representing Tennis Cambodia and its worthy causes around the world.
“We have a lot to learn from Cambodian tennis. It is an inspirational story. The federation has raised the profile of tennis in the world,” Lim Teck Yin, who took a break from the ongoing SEA Games in Myanmar to make this short trip, told the Post yesterday.
Tep Rithivit said the alliance with Singapore was “very important” for the TFC. “We would like to learn from others but at the same time we would like to share with others our recipe for success, he said.
Cham Prasidh, meanwhile, said: “I feel this partnership will create exciting possibilities for young players in both countries.”
Later in an exclusive interview with the Post, Lim Teck Yin spoke about the city state’s major initiatives to promote sports harmony in the South Asian region as a whole to counter balance the dominance of sports giants like China and Japan.
“We are creating a mega sports hub at a cost of US$1.3 billion to be completed next year. To go with it we want to bring world events to Singapore and at the same time focus on training and development,” he said.
“We will stage the WTA season
finale in October next year involving the world’s top eight women’s singles players and doubles pairs. We will also have an event for the legends and one for the rising stars,” added Kim, hinting that Singapore could also be the first country to host an Indian Premier League cricket franchise.
“For me, the most exciting prospect would be to see Singapore schools bringing tennis teams over to Cambodia. Exchange of tennis camps will be beneficial to both sides,” he said.
If the alliance as envisaged by both Singapore and Cambodia take the desired shape, the next generation of players in both countries would be heading for a great future.