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Shingo Kunieda of Japan
Shingo Kunieda of Japan is seen in action against Nicolas Peifer of France during their wheelchair men’s singles semifinal of the 2014 US Open in New York. AFP

Wheelchair tennis boost

Designated as a project country for International Tennis Federation’s wheelchair program, Tennis Cambodia will host an inaugural four-day ITF clinic for coaches and players in Phnom Penh and Battambang from this Sunday.

Australian National Academy wheelchair coach Joe Kubizniak, one of 38 coaches drawn worldwide in the ITF’s expert panel, will conduct the clinic first for the coaches at the Olympic Stadium courts in Phnom Penh and then for the players at Battambang’s La Paloma Center for the Disabled, where Tennis Cambodia’s own program has been running smoothly for nearly a year.

Tennis Cambodia received ITF’s Wheelchair Development Fund, pivoted towards promotion of wheelchair tennis in the next two years as one of select countries.

“This Clinic is a grand beginning. We are excited to develop a bigger and better wheelchair program within Cambodia,” Tennis Cambodia secretary general Tep Rithivit told the Post yesterday.

“Tennis is for all. We are determined to create equal opportunities for disabled just like everyone else.”

National coach Braen Aneiros said: “I think that it is a big move for Tennis Cambodia to include wheelchair tennis as part of our programs.

“Even though we already have one school in Battambang with a few players in wheelchair tennis, we never had the proper coaching methods to work with those kids. I believe that by having the ITF wheelchair tennis courses in Cambodia will help all our coaches not only to teach properly the few active players, but to get more disable people to learn to play wheelchair tennis.

“Once again with this program, we are proving that tennis is a sport that we are trying to make accessible to everyone in the country,” added Aneiros, who is also Tennis Cambodia’s technical director.

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