Japan-based Maruhan Corporation, which operates the Maruhan Japan Bank, has stepped forward to support the Volleyball Federation of Cambodia in raising the competitive level of the national team.
Under a one-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Maruhan and the VFC formalised at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s headquarters on Friday, the national volleyball squad will have the privilege of training under well-regarded Japanese coach Watanabe Takashi for the next 12 months.
According to the terms of the MoU, signed by Maruhan Corporation chairman and CEO Chang-Woo Han and VFC president and National Police chief Neth Savoeun, the Japanese firm will defray all the expenses arising from the coach’s appointment.
“We have been supporting various other sporting activities in Cambodia. This is our earnest attempt to boost the profile of one of the country’s most popular games,” Han said during his address.
Savoueun described the agreement as a big step up for the federation and the national team. “This is the first time that we have an expert coach like Watanabe Takashi to guide our team. I am certain that we will benefit from his experience and expertise,” he said.
The president also called upon Maruhan Corporation to extend support to the national women’s team and various grassroots programs that are ready to be launched this year.
Reacting to the MoU, NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun told the Post: “Volleyball has been one of the most popular sport played all over the country but somehow this popularity is not reflected in our achievements. It is a great opportunity for our players to improve their skills.
“The timing could not have been better. This one-year stint with Watanabe Takashi will leave us at the doorstep of 2015 SEA Games in Singapore better prepared and more confident than ever before.
“The revival of the women’s team is very important. It was so popular in the mid 1990s. Together with this, if we get our grassroots programmes to grow steadily we can hope for good results when we host the SEA Games in 2023,” added the secretary-general.