In a big push towards strengthening its growing northwestern base, Tennis Cambodia will use an International Tennis Federation facility grant to build an international-standard tennis court in Siem Reap.
The financial assistance to augment infrastructure development stems from the world governing body’s recognition of Tennis Cambodia as the most improved federation in the Southeast Asia region.
In its recent citation, the ITF has appreciated the overall development of the game in the Kingdom while praising the federation for diversifying its activities in all directions during the past six to seven years.
“The ITF recognising our efforts is indeed a very important endorsement. It is not only a reward for our hard work but it also a challenge for us to achieve greater progress.
“So the facility grant will definitely go to our northwestern frontier. We have 3,500 children and 30 elite juniors there. It is by far our biggest program in the nation,’’ secretary-general of Tennis Cambodia Tep Rithvit told the Post yesterday.
“It is imperative that we build a fully fledged tennis court in Siem Reap at the earliest, to enhance the playing experiences of players who are fast emerging from our grassroots and junior tennis initiatives being run so efficiently by our head coach Scott Windus and his dedicated team.”
Tennis Cambodia used the first tranche of ITF’s facility grant nearly six years ago to build the three-court National Training Center which now serves as the home of the Kingdom’s major domestic and international competitions that has included a five-year run on the ITF Men’s Futures and the introduction of the ITF Juniors last month.
“The last seven years of our hard work has culminated in a massive network of nearly 10,000 kids playing tennis for free today.
“We have the ongoing wheelchair tennis in Battambang involving nearly 20 players, some of them landmine victims, and thanks to our Global Goodwill Ambassador Leander Pae bringing us the ATP’s Killing Fields to Tennis Courts Foundation grant, we have been able to keep expanding these programs.
“Our thrust for 2017 will be on the “three Cs” – courts, coaches and competition – and to look for ways to build one or two more courts, increase coaching staff, but more importantly to multiply our junior tournaments,” Rithvit said.