Cambodia’s Davis Cup squad heading to Hanoi’s indoor courts for the April 2-7 Asia/Oceania Group III campaign has been exclusively sponsored by Khmer Beverages.
The brewery will also extend its support to the national team and junior tennis initiative programmes for the rest of the year.
The new partnership deal strengthens Cambodia’s bid to take one of the two promotion places on offer to Group II even as the backing for the junior initiatives is designed to create a pathway for the healthy succession of young players to national level.
“It is an honour for Tennis Cambodia to partner with Khmer Beverages. This new and bright alliance stands testimony both to our federation’s achievements and our sponsor’s firm belief in corporate social responsibility through its support for Cambodian tennis on the world stage,” said Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit, who will lead the five-member team as non-playing captain for the seventh year in succession.
“I am optimistic that this partnership will not only propel our Davis Cup efforts but will also open the door to future collaboration between the two entities,” he said.
“With 50 per cent of our population under the age of 19, Tennis Cambodia and Khmer Breweries will develop a base of players while enhancing their own brand profile, having been passionate supporters of Cambodian sport,” Rithivit added.
With the team scheduled to depart Phnom Penh on March 28, the members of the squad went through a routine familiar before every Davis Cup campaign – a road trip to the coastal town of Kep for a few days of camping, training and bonding for what in
Tennis Cambodia’s playbook is “Kep therapy”.
After hard playing sessions at the Villa Romonea court, mountain biking, and workouts on the beach over the past three days, the squad members kept up their long tradition before every major event of visiting a mountaintop pagoda for prayers.
The team prayed at the Asrom Sel Votei pagoda on Saturday morning to seek blessing ahead of their trip to Vietnam.
Only nuns reside in the pagoda, which is regarded by the local population as a spiritually unique place, and it has become a tradition for Cambodian tennis teams to offer prayers there before they head out on foreign assignments.
“This Kep therapy has worked very well for us on our previous missions since we got into the Davis Cup in 2012. I hope it works the same way for us in Hanoi,” said Phalkun Mam, Tennis Cambodia’s head of Junior Development and a member of the Davis Cup side.