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Cambodia’s trailblazing tennis ace

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On the left Ho Sreynoch reaches new heights at the High Elements Obstacle Course at Singapore’s Bedok Reservoir. On the right Sreynoch (front centre) receives a certification upon finishing the STEP Asian Youth Leaders Sports Camp 2019 in Singapore on Sunday. TENNIS CAMBODIA

Cambodia’s trailblazing tennis ace

Tennis Cambodia’s very own, Ho Sreynoch, the standout tennis player from the Schools Tennis Program in Sunrise Children’s Village in Kandal Province, became the first Tennis Cambodia representative to take part in the annual STEP Asian Youth Leaders Sports Camp organised by Sports Singapore from March 8-17.

This is not the only first for 17-year-old Sreynoch. She started tennis around 8 years ago at Sunrise Children’s Village, and has paved the way for younger girls by setting many milestones.

These have included travelling outside the country for regional training camps and competitions, being on Tennis Cambodia’s first Junior Fed Cup Team in 2016, becoming the first local female player to earn an ITF Junior Ranking in 2017, and joining Hour Sreypov, another female junior player who grew up in an orphanage as a member of the 2017 Cambodian Sea Games Team.

In 2018, Sreynoch finished the year undefeated in local competition, which included all Tennis Cambodia’s local junior events, and even an open competition held at the Cambodian Country Club and Sofitel Hotel.

The youth leader sports camp in Singapore featured 136 participants, with eight representatives from the Kingdom including Sreynoch, where she joined other national athletes from the Sailing Federation, the Basketball Federation and the Taekwondo Federation, to name a few.

Of the eight representatives, four were male and Sreynoch was one of four female participants. On the agenda were classroom lectures, which included talks on sports challenges and brainstorming sessions on finding solutions to sports related problems. Another discussion was entitled “Influencing and Motivating Others Through Sports”.

In addition to classroom activities there were many outdoor activities, including overcoming the High Elements Obstacle Course at Bedok Reservoir, dragon boating in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, cycling along seaside parks, visiting Hawker Scenes in Chinatown for a taste of street-level Singaporean cuisine, as well as a night camping outdoors.

“It would be a shame to not mention that all of the activities were done in groups, and groups that mixed up the representatives from all of the different Southeast Asian countries so they got to meet other youth leaders from around the region."

“After all, one of the underlying reasons for the camp is intercultural awareness and getting the youth leaders to go outside of their comfort zone, meet new people, make new friends and have fun while learning what it truly is means to lead,” said Tennis Cambodia technical director Phalkun Mam.

Tep Rithivit, Tennis Cambodia secretary-general, concluded: “I’m very happy that Sreynoch is still able to reap the benefits as one of the top junior female athletes in the country. She plays a very big role, and has had many opportunities other children from her background can only dream of."

“We are very proud of who she has become on and off the tennis court and we hope that Tennis Cambodia will continue to have future opportunities for her and for future players to develop as successful sportsmen and sportswomen.”

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