For those of you who don’t know, Chheang Vannasak, tennis player born and raised in Cambodia, brought up through the federation and the ITF’s STI and JTI programs, has now found himself studying in the US. Sak was able to reach a level of tennis, and also performed well in the classroom to be able to earn himself a tennis scholarship as well as an academic scholarship to attend Lewis & Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. We are very proud of Sak as he’s the first example of hopefully many more young Cambodian tennis players to come. Through his hard work in the classroom and on the court he was able to open up an opportunity that will probably change and influence the rest of his life, and we hope that young tennis players, and athletes of any sport, will look up to him as an example for what their own future can be like. Good luck to Sak and please enjoy a few blog entries from Sak himself below!
October 3rd, 2015
It has been exactly 2 months since I left my home country, the first time ever that gone from home this long. The whole team made a place far across the world feels like home to me now. It was a hard time for the first two weeks from staying out of the court due to some injuries after a while getting better both tennis and injuries. Coach Kai and trainees tried so hard to keep players healthy and curious from rushing to practice.
The team consist of multi-nation from 7 different countries with 12 men and 12 women (half returner and half newbies). We fought so hard even tennis practice and fitness training. Practice two hours a day and five days a weeks, men starting M/W/F from 3pm-5pm T/TH 1pm-3pm and women starting M/W/F from 1pm-3pm and T/TH from 3pm-5pm. During the weekend, coach Kai always arrange schedule for the team to involve some activities with the community and at least doing 4.72 miles bridge run.
Beside practice time everyday, coach assigned myself in his clinic teaching tennis from 5pm-6pm everyday and sometime 6am. These sessions taught a lots for us who never had to be instructor before.
Coach Kai is basically a mental coach apparently. He built up a strong team from nowhere with his very basic strategy.
The school gave a lot of priority to athlete student but we never take it as granted, by taking education as our first priority as coach Kai said. College contains a lot of works I’ve never expected but since I can arrange my time with tennis and school, I found life is easier. There are volleyball team, baseball team, basketball team, and track and field team. We always go and support each other whenever there is a game for either team.
Since Lewiston is a small city, there aren’t many infrastructure and not many people but I can recognized most of people in the community. Student from other countries might find difficult to the culture at first especially the food but others than that seems like everything in neutral that we can easily adapt to.
Blog October 15th, 2016
The whole team was able to volunteer at the church involved in preparing for upcoming Halloween. Setting up the Pumpkin Patch with about 800 pumpkins from a lorry. Preparation for high-schoolers to carving in the days later. Also we got company from Baseball team and Volleyball team, so they made everything quick and smooth. The church welcome us with lots of loves and treats; bunch of cookies and drinks.
Friday Oct 21 from 11am to 12pm
Twenty one 5th Graders from nearby All Saints School visited the LCSC Tennis Center for an hour of tennis, hosted by 7 members of the LCSC Tennis Teams. The elementary students got to hit some forehands and backhands, and even took in a game of Baseball Tennis. A huge thanks to Susan Wilcoxson for coordinating the field trip to promote tennis in the LC Valley.
Thanks to all who took the time to read Sak’s blog posts, stay tuned as he will update with more news soon!