The local business community in the coastal town of Kep is warming up to the idea of supporting grassroots tennis programmes in both cash and kind.
As a starter, several businessmen attended a presentation from the Tennis Federation of Cambodia at Villa Romonea earlier this week, at the end of which donations to cover the cost of eight new bicycles to be given away to players were made in quick time.
The community has also pledged sustained backing for TFC’s ongoing programmes at ASPECA orphanage as well as Academy of Kep.
During the presentation, the TFC highlighted the performances of three Kep players from ASPECA in the recently held National Junior Tournament. While Chen Samphors and Cheum Seyha got through the early rounds, Sen Sophon did the orphanage proud by winning the Boys U14 singles title.
“Sen Sophon is a shining example of success that comes out of hard work and determination. There are so many other talented boys and girls in Kep who need your support,” TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit said in his address.
The Federation’s technical director and national team head coach Braen Aneiros presented to the business community a detailed account of their player pathway, which takes boys and girls from a very young age through grassroots, Tennis 10s and junior initiatives to national team reckoning. Mam Phalkun, who heads both the schools and junior tennis initiatives, then noted the benefits of providing bicycles for the youngsters.
“The Academy of Kep players usually travel by tuk-tuk to the only standard court in town at Villa Romonea. Sometimes they have to hire more than one. Over the course of the year the travel costs mount up.
These bikes will benefit them a great deal,” he said. “‘These are the more advanced kids who have come up through the Tennis 10’s and are now ready for the real court.”
Course for coaches
The TFC will organise a two-day refresher course for coaches at the National Training Centre beginning today.
The course, to be attended by all 17 TFC coaches including two women from Battambang and Siem Reap, will be conducted by Braen Aneiros.
Several private coaches from Phnom Penh are also expected to attend the theory-cum-practical course.