The Tennis Federation of Cambodia has designated Miss Japan 2011 Hisae Arai as its second goodwill ambassador after multiple Grand Slam doubles winner Leander Paes, of India.
Commerce Minister and TFC president Cham Prasidh presented the designation certificate to 25-year-old Arai during a media conference held at NagaWorld yesterday.
In September, 2010, Davis Cupper Paes had the distinction of being named the TFC’s first global good-will ambassador – a privileged position the US-based doubles specialist still holds.
“We strongly believe that Ms Hisae Arai, who is famously promoting the charm of Japan, will be a compelling and eloquent voice for Cambodian tennis worldwide,” Cham Prasidh said yesterday.
TFC secretary-general Tep Rithivit noted his confidence in the federat-ion’s latest celebrity endorsement.
“Arai’s charming stage presence, and her passion for tennis, will enhance the TFC’s power of communications around the world,” he said.
Arai’s role entails helping the TFC with awareness programs, frequently addressing kids in school and orphanage tennis projects, interaction with sponsors and partners, creating tennis drawing contests at orphanages and helping the federation raise funds for its activities.
In her acceptance address, Arai said: “I am thrilled with this offer. I feel it is a great honour to represent Cambodian tennis.”
The media event was sponsored by local food chain The Blue Pumpkin, one of the TFC’s long-term partners.
Blue Pumpkin chief executive Alain Dupuis commended the national team’s Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group IV series success in Doha last month and hailed the appointment of Arai as a great step forward.
After starting out as a model when she was 17, Arai became a qualified diet professional adviser for health and beauty.
She has also carved a niche through her art message and sydo (calligraphy), developing a style that blends traditional painting with writing.
Arai’s younger sister, Kiko, is the 2012 Miss Japan.
Siblings winning this most traditional of women’s competitions is a record feat in Japan.
Hisae Arai, who has worked in several cultural exchange programs in Thailand, South Korea, China and Indonesia, is also the ambassador of the Japanese Tourism Agency.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]