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Tennis 10s hits off in Kep

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A Tennis Federation of Cambodia coach looks on as children play mini tennis on makeshift courts at ASPECA in Kep on Saturday.

The Tennis Federation of Cambodia’s grandiose Tennis 10s project was launched on Saturday with great fanfare at the Southern seaside resort town of Kep, which will be among the six provinces extensively covered in the next two years under the Junior Tennis Initiative.

TFC President and Senior Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh officially inaugurated the two-week camp at ASPECA, a French-NGO run orphanage school, with a call to the community to harness youth power in tennis development.

“We attach utmost importance to grassroots development in TFC and I hope other provinces follow Kep’s lead in the months to come. I am as excited as anyone else that this initiative is going so well with the kids and parents,” he said.

Calling on more and more schools and parents to involve their kids in tennis, Cham Prasidh also noted that the proposed Grassroots Opportunities Tennis Foundation – of which he is one of the co-founders – would open new avenues for under-privileged boys and girls.

TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit, who is a native of Kep, explained the details of the project to The Post on Saturday.

“We have selected 35 school kids born in 2001 and 2002 for this Kep project. A TFC coach from Phnom Penh, Long Chumnith, imparted first lessons at ASPECA to these kids last week,” he said.

“The lessons will continue for another week for two batches of students. Morning sessions from 8am to 10am and evening sessions from 2pm to 4pm.

“Tennis 10s is an ITF Program we would like to spread far and wide in Cambodia. We are targeting six provinces to begin with in the next two years.

“Our supervisors will scout talent and our coaches will impart the basics. There will be periodic reviews and workshops as follow-ups,” said the Secretary.

As part of their drive, the TFC is also conducting a crash coaching course on Tennis 10 techniques for ASPECA school teachers so that they can monitor the program in the future.

“Our supervisors will return later this month to ensure  that this methodology is working,” said Tep Rithivit.

As head of the Junior Tennis Initiative, national team coach and TFC Technical Director Braen Aneiros has drawn up the entire coaching programme and will personally monitor the progress from time to time.

“To ensure good grassroots development, we need to spread the game. I am happy to note that the response in Kep has been so good and positive,” said Aneiros, who is currently with national players Tan Nysan and Bun Kenny at a Futures event in Thailand.

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