For the first time, Tennis Cambodia is planning to host monthly junior and open series for the tennis playing community, the organisation announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The series will be named the Decathlon Junior & Open Series 2019 after main sponsor, Decathlon Cambodia.
“With a growing junior development programme it only makes sense to work to provide more competition for our juniors, as performance is one of the federation’s target areas for improvement in 2019,” Tennis Cambodia technical director Phalkun Mam told The Post.
The series will begin this month and will consist of a junior event and an open event each month for the rest of 2019.
The series will have its own ranking, and in December or January the top eight ranked players will be invited to compete in what is to be called the Decathlon Masters.
Mam says all the national team members have expressed a strong interest in joining the open competitions, with the junior national team set to join the juniors.
With the open event set to allow players aged 14 years of age and up, it allows the top juniors to play in the junior event and test their skills in the open event as well.
“We’re at a crossroads now concerning our junior development program, and it only makes sense to bring more competition to our junior players now that we have so many,” stated long-time Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit.
“A sustainable series with a junior and open event each month made possible by our partnership with Decathlon is the perfect start.
“Our aim is not only to grow decathlon, but to help the coaches, associations and federations to lift sports in general in the Kingdom.
“Growing up in France, which is leading the world in junior tennis development, weekly competition is what drives the sport there and we are trying to recreate that healthy atmosphere by helping Tennis Cambodia provide consistent competition for the tennis community in Cambodia,” added Decathlon Cambodia retail leader Jean-Baptiste Prigent, who attended the press conference with communications leader Uy Sovathana.
Joining Decathlon as partners and associate sponsors of Tennis Cambodia are the Cambodian Country Club and Pontoon Club.
The first junior event will take place from May 17 to 19, and the first open event will be held from May 31 to June 2.