The Tennis Federation of Cambodia has launched a worldwide appeal to all non-resident Cambodians who either play or support tennis to join its national integration programme, dubbed “Cambodia Calling – Share the magic with TFC”.
The joint appeal by TFC President and Senior Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh and TFC Secretary General Tep Rithivit calls on talented tennis playing Cambodians living abroad to help strengthen the national team.
“The concept is simple and straight forward,” Tep Rithivit told The Post yesterday.
“We would like Cambodian youngsters good at tennis to join our stream and help move Tennis Cambodia forward. Our grassroots projects are well off the ground and a strong national team will inspire a quicker and better growth.
“We are using all the communication tools at our command including our new Facebook page [Tennis Federation of Cambodia] and our revamped website [www.tennisfederationcambodia.com] to air this message to every nook and corner in the world.”
The Secretary added that the TFC wanted to ensure no talented Cambodian tennis youngsters anywhere in the world were left behind.
“The offer is ours – the choice is theirs,” he said. “We will take care of them in the best way possible. We commit ourselves to their welfare and they in turn commit their tennis to our national cause. In a way, it is Cambodians for Cambodian Tennis.”
Tep Rithivit noted it was not their intention to pull some of these talented players out of their comfort zones.
“There is a provision in the ITF for players settled in other countries to help their homeland. We can work out ways in which this can be done to the mutual benefit,” he said.
The Federation has already worked out a pathway to streamline this process. It begins with a simple registration. Any Cambodian youngster interested may register his or her name either on Facebook or on the website. Further assessments would follow before a final acceptance.
Weighing in on this global call, national team head coach Braen Aneiros said strengthening their ranks should be a top priority in the light of Cambodia’s impending reentry into the Davis Cup competition next year.
“Apart from the Davis Cup, we have so many international commitments to look at,” said Aneiros. “The next set of Futures, a string of ITF Junior events, the prospects of taking part in the Junior Davis Cup and the Junior Fed Cup and also address our regional goals like the SEA Games and the ASEAN events.
“Take Bun Kenny’s example. He may have been a home town boy but he grew up in France. He has successfully relocated himself and is now our frontman in the national squad,” added the coach.
“We want to create this opening for any Cambodian who wishes to be part of our collective national psyche.”