Sruong Pheavy is a Cambodian-born South Korean billiards star. Born in a rural village in Tbong Khmum province, the 30-year-old migrated to South Korea about 10 years ago to get married to her husband, who lives in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province. Pheavy discovered that she had a talent for billards after she and her husband visited a local carom billiards parlour. After around two years of training, she took second place in an amateur competition in 2013. In June 2018, she took third prize in the 8th World Championship Ladies Three-cushion in Turkey, and in October 2019, she won the bronze medal in the Ladies Three-cushion Carom Billiards World Championships in Spain. She believes that education is the most important tool for the development of Cambodia, and she has made many donations and hosted charitable activities in the Kingdom. Khmer Times sits down and talks with her.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Pheavy: I was born to a farming family in Tbong Khmum province’s Tbong Khmum district in Thmor Pich commune’s Thmor Pich Bey village. I decided to get married at the age of 19 to my South Korean husband, hoping to help support my family who were living in poverty. But after coming to South Korea and participating in carom billiards, my life completely changed, and I am currently playing this sport as a professional athlete.
How did you feel when you won the bronze medal in the Ladies Three-cushion Carom Billiards World Champion-ships in Valencia?
Pheavy: Winning a medal in Spain promoted Cambodia on the international stage. I’m excited that I did something good for Cambodia.
How did you feel when you were selected to become a symbol of friendship between Cambodia and South Korea, as well as being invited to participate in a business forum during the state visit of Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, to the Kingdom of Cambodia in March 2019?
Pheavy: I am highly honoured to have been invited to participate in a programme attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Mr Moon. I understand this is also because the South Korean people love and support me, and I will do my best to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
For myself, I have worked hard to learn the Korean language, and whenever I have the opportunity I introduce Cambodian culture to the South Korean people. I am also continuing my training in carom billiards.
What message do you have for young Cambodians who want to achieve success and fulfil their dreams like you?
Pheavy: Young people, who will carry the fate of the country in the future, play an important role in social affairs, so during their free time they should take up sports to stay healthy. I would like to ask young Cambodians, to avoid drugs, alcohol, gambling, and especially associating with people who lead them astray that can destroy their future.
More importantly, they should make a habit of reading books often, as these are a source of ideas, truth and paths that lead us to peace.