After guiding Cambodian tennis through some of its darkest phases over the past 25 years to a grand revival from near extinction, president of Tennis Cambodia and Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh made way for the chairman of the WorldBridge Group of companies Sear Rithy to head the federation for its sixth mandate up to 2022.
At Tuesday’s General Assembly, marking the end of the 2014-18 term, Prasidh, the former Minister of Commerce for nearly 15 years, was named Honorary President.
Meanwhile, the renowned entrepreneur and real estate magnate Rithy was unanimously elected to lead a Federation that earned the distinction of landing the inaugural International Tennis Hall of Fame organisational excellence award last year and was named as the most improved federation in Asia more than once by the World’s Governing body in the past eight years.
“I am highly satisfied and even proud of what we have achieved over the years thanks to our own grand vision of the future and the hard working and persistent efforts of secretary-general Tep Rithivit, who has been with me for the past 20 years. I look forward to the new president elevating our status as a model tennis nation in the region,” Cham Prasidh told The Post.
“I am not leaving the stage but working hard behind it to support the federation in the role of honorary president."
“I have not been able to devote much time, busy as I am with my ministerial responsibilities, besides it is time for someone young and passionate and dedicated to take charge,” he said.
In his emotional address to the assembly, Prasidh recalled how with limited resources, shortage of manpower and small budgets on the top of just 27 courts around the country, the federation grew in strength through its innovative player initiatives leading to a bronze medal in each of the SEA Games since 2011 and a spectacular debut in the Davis Cup.
In addition, the Kingdom now holds international tournaments like the Men’s Futures and ITF Juniors and has produced a female player, Andrea Ka, who is the only one from Cambodia to win an ITF Futures event and was recently among the top 500 in the world rankings.
“I am all for transparency and accountability. My priority is to grow the game through the welfare of the players and create a sound pathway for them to excel. I am also a strong advocate for bringing in more sponsors who can benefit the growth of the players and the game,” said Rithy.
“I will count on the outstanding work that has been done by secretary-general Tep Rithivit over the years and together we can work towards a prosperous future,” he said.
Current secretary-general Rithivit received overwhelming support to continue his role for yet another term. In his response he thanked Prasidh for giving him an opening and encouraging him to take the right steps all the way.
He said he was keen to strike a good and prosperous partnership with the newly elected head of the federation.
At the end of the deliberations that included the approval of the finance report presented by Bun Leakana, Som Sokha was unanimously elected as the vice president.
A 12-member committee, including head of Junior Development Mam Phalkun, was also voted in while three members of the previous executive panel were ousted.