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Sponsors confirmed for Futures

Sponsors confirmed for Futures

NagaWorld Vice President Events, Promotion and Entertainment Rajesh Kumar (R) shakes hands with TFC Secretary-General Tep Rithivit. Photograph supplied

Group Lease Finance Plc, the flagship holding of Japan-based Asia Partnership Fund, will sponsor the last two of three back-to-back Men’s $10,000 Futures events being organised by the Tennis Federation of Cambodia in Phnom Penh from November 19 to December 9.

Entertainment and gaming sector giants in Indochina, NagaWorld, has already stepped in to sponsor the first leg.

All three of the ITF-sanctioned tournaments will be staged at the National Training Centre next to the Cambodian Country Club, with an estimated player pool of around 100 hailing from 25 different nations.

The Cambodian F1 from November 19-25 has been labelled as The NagaWorld Cup. The following legs in the series will be branded as the GLF-Cham Prasidh Cup (November 26 to December 2) and the GLF-Tep Khunnah Trophy (December 3-9).

“I am delighted to partner the TFC, which has taken Cambodian tennis to a level of excellence that had seemed improbable five or six years ago,” Group Lease Finance chairman Mitsuji Konoshita, who is also CEO of the Asia Partnership Fund, told the Post yesterday.

“We at the GLF have a moral commitment to enhance and empower our community and there is no better medium than sports in general, and tennis in particular to achieve this end, he said. Our business philosophy is youth driven and it perfectly blends with that of the TFC which has done an outstanding job in revitalising tennis in Cambodia.

“Half of Cambodia’s population is under 19 [years old], so the country is sitting on a big bank of youth potential and events like the Futures can inspire a whole lot of them,” added Konoshita, who pursued professional tennis until he was 30 before plunging into the world of business. The GLF has set up 37 offices so far in Cambodia and has plans for dozens more.

NagaWorld Vice President Events, Promotion and Entertainment Rajesh Kumar also agreed that sports plays a leading role in nation building.

“We have been supporting TFC since 2011 and we know fully well that the TFC will once again organise another great event,” he told the Post.

“Futures will galvanise tennis in many ways. It creates playing opportunities for Cambodian players and it inspires the juniors and it also showcases the TFC organisational abilities.

“Our partnership with the TFC during the country’s debut season in the Davis Cup was very fruitful and I sincerely hope the Futures will lead to another good year for Cambodian tennis.”

TFC Secretary-General Tep Rithivit, meanwhile, noted the Federation owed “a debt of gratitude” to their two main sponsors of the Futures.

“NagaWorld has been with us all the way for nearly two years and I am happy to welcome GLF and Mr Mitsuji Konoshita to our tennis family,” he said.

“It is a matter of pride that Cambodia finds a regular place in the ITF annual calendar. Tremendous momentum and goodwill was generated by the two $15,000 Futures we organised last year. This series will definitely set a new trend for Cambodian tennis by defining its future.”

TFC Technical Director and national team coach Braen Aneiros, who is also the Cambodian Futures Tournament Director, told the Post that the registrations for the three competitions have been very brisk. “More than 60 players have already indicated their willingness to play a portion or all the three weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the TFC will be setting up a new media centre at the NTC to ensure extensive coverage of the three tournaments.

One of the local TV channels is expected to televise live the final of each of the three legs.

To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]