Cambodian athletes brought back seven medals from the 4th Agel World Tour Asian Soft Tennis Championships which concluded yesterday in Pattaya, Thailand.
Cambodia sent a total of 13 athletes and 17 coaches and delegates which cost an estimated $10,000 according to Chea Bunheng, vice-president of Cambodia’s Soft Tennis Federation.
“Even though we have to spend, the game is important,” said Mr.Bunheng. “This is a world-class event and points will help towards recognition of the Asian Soft Tennis Federation.”
Soft tennis has most of the same rules as regular tennis, although the lesser known equivalent utilises soft rubber balls instead of the hard yellow balls in regular tennis. It is played primarily in Asia, with Japan regarded as the strongest nation.
In February, Cambodia’s Soft Tennis Federation held its General Assembly at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters, concluding its first mandate (2014-2018).
For the new mandate which will span 2018-2022, the federation said it plans to ramp up training to enable the kingdom to participate in major international competitions.
The federation also said sending athletes abroad for training would be necessary as they prepare for the impending 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, the 29th 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia.
Government minister Sar Kheng, known as an admirer of the fledgling sport, was announced as president of the federation, while Mr. Bunheng maintained his role as first vice-president of the second mandate 2018-2022.
The Cambodian team, led by vice-president Mr. Bunheng who is also the president of the Ministry of Interior’s sports department, said the government wanted to increase participation in the little-known racquet sport.