Written by Tennis Cambodia, August 2, 2016
In every match played, there is always someone who walks off the court with a win and the other with a loss. We advance the winners and write the details of the match down: 6-2 6-4. On to the next match.
This weekend at the National Training Center in our 4th Junior National Championship became another filled tournament of wins and matches lost. With a total of 45 players arriving from all different areas of Cambodia, not only competitors arrive to meet their next opponents, but fellow brothers and sisters from other orphanages and homes in Battambang, Kep, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh meet again for the weekend. And they all share something in common; their love in playing tennis.
Phath Somnang, an 11 year old from Aspeca Orphanage in Kep Province, is one of the youngest and shortest players arriving to Phnom Penh Friday morning to play his first ever tennis tournament. He stands just over a meter tall, and has a slight limp in his step crusading around the tennis club.
Somnang arrived in Phnom Penh with no shoes to play and borrows tennis rackets from the other boys from the group. As many players rely on donations of tennis rackets, shoes and attire, there may have been a concern that Somnang would not have a pair of shoes to borrow that would fit his feet in time for his first match.
As Sunday rose, much of a surprise to many other players and spectators was it to see that Somnang was still in the draw playing the semi-finals of the consolation draw in the Boy U12 category. Though when facing him, as some could predict, “this kid has no chance,” boy, would you be surprised.
He comes out to the court with his friends hanging on the side of the fence and his opponent right behind him. What a sight to see as both competitors on the court are working to win each point. Somnang was able to retrieve balls from the back court, short court and all over–literally. Better yet, he is not the only one that everyone is cheering for.
There are players like Sam David, the number one seed in the Boys U14, who has committed to playing the tennis tournaments time after time and playing better each time around. There are many boys and girls we see come out tournament after tournament wanting to play better and show improvements.
This time around, the largest group of players all arrived from Battambang with a total of 16 players. “It’s exciting for all these kids to travel to Phnom Penh together and play tennis. And they love it. They are really looking forward to this tournament each time,” said Cosme Colmenero, one of the volunteers accompanying the group from the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang.
The national tournaments are not only to see our rising players soar and compete, but it also gives rise to opportunities for them to have created memories with others.
In the end, we all win, no matter what. Join the Tennis Cambodia tribe as we look to grow more and more opportunities such as these tournaments for more rising players. We believe we can better the life by creating opportunities like this through tennis.
ANZ Royal Bank (Cambodia) Ltd,
Account name: Tennis Federation of Cambodia
Account number: 960265
Bank address: 20, Kramuon Sar (corner of street 67),Phnom Penh, Cambodia.