Cambodian national billiard player Sroung Pheavy – famous for playing “Carom” billiards – wants to change the mindset of the Kingdom’s youth. She urges them to change from playing standard billiards and snooker and follow in her footsteps. She has built fame and used the profession to help herself, as well as win honour for the nation.
As the Ladies Professional Billiards Association (LPBA) Championship 2021 winner, Pheavy was invited by Koreans living in Cambodia to participate in an April 19 friendly demonstration match at Aeon Mall Sen Sok in the capital’s Sen Sok district. She had travelled from her home in South Korea to visit her hometown in Tbong Khmum province on the occasion of the recent Khmer New Year.
“I did not expect so many Koreans to come to Cambodia like this. I’m happy there is a chance for the Cambodian people to try Carom billiards. It’s great that Cambodians have the opportunity to practice this game. This is a sport that has many benefits for individuals, families and society. There are any tournaments, so if you are talented, you can win a lot of prizes. There are also sponsorship opportunities available for top players,” she said.
For more than 10 years, Pheavy has been living in South Korea with her Korean husband. It was while living there that she embarked on her carom billiards career and built a reputation in Korea and around the world as the only Cambodian woman billiards player to win gold, silver and bronze medals in a series of major events.
“When you are famous and win some tournaments, you can promote and make Cambodia more well-known, as I did. I have played in almost every country in Europe, and people there knew nothing of Cambodia. They would ask me where I was from. When I began winning and became famous, they remembered. Now, when a competition is being organised anywhere in the world, they contact my club to make sure I will participate,” she added.
At the end of 2021, Pheavy won the Blue One Resort LPBA Championship after defeating Korean superstar Kim Gayoung in the final. Pheavy’s win made her hugely popular in South Korea, and around the world, wherever carom billiards is played.
“For this trip to Cambodia, I came for humanitarian activities. As you know, I am a very famous person, and Korean people, no matter where I go, they always remember me. Korean people will always help and support me. I am very proud of myself and also thank the Korean people for valuing my achievements, even though I am Cambodian,” said Pheavy.
“When I was asked to participate in these demonstration matches, I was excited and thought that maybe we have inspired a future Cambodian player who is now training hard. I hope that in the future there are many strong players from the Kingdom,” she added.
Pheavy wants to expand awareness of the game and its qualities to Cambodians – especially the young – saying that the game is not only fun but help people develop strength and focus.
“I’ve heard people say that billiards is not good, but we have to try to change this mindset. Carom billiards is a good sport because it can be played from youth into old age, which can make it a stable part of anyone’s life. Before I played this sport, I was a different person. After I began to take it seriously and focus, I became more patient, thoughtful and able to overcome challenges. Overall, this sport has made me stronger,” she said.