The opening ceremony of the 2023 ITF Asian Junior 14’s and under Championship was held yesterday (September 3rd) at the Morodok Techo National Stadium. The championship sees some of the best up and coming Asian tennis talent decent upon the Kingdom for this highly prestigious prize.
You can read about the ITF Asian Junior Championship here
Speeches were made by Puneet Gupta of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Jonathon Stubbs, developmental officer for South-East Asia at the ITF, as well as Cambodian 2023 Southeast Asian Games Bronze medalist Chhinda Som of Tennis Cambodia, one of the chief organizers of the event.
Following this the coaches from the participating nations were introduced, before the draw for the competition was made. The ceremony was duly finished with the participants marching into the main court under the flags of their respective nations.
The 48 total players, who have been split into boys and girls categories were invited to the Championship, under a “Masters” style system, which includes two wild card entries for hosts Cambodia.
What is the ITF Asian Junior Championship
Speaking exclusively to BPVE, Jonathan Stubbs of the ITF stated that the new competition was part of a wider “circuit” that the ITF were trying to create in Asia. It was also part of their wider strategy for youth development within the region.
Stubbs further added that another important aspect of the competition was that it was being funded by the “Grand Slam Player Development Programme”, whose remit is “to provide competitive opportunities in developing tennis regions throughout the globe, and has also helped talented individuals to succeed where finances may have otherwise proved a barrier to their success”
According to Stubbs this could mean grants to players of up to $50,000, which goes towards not just their development, but also meeting the costs of traveling to such events.
To read about the program click here.
A coup for Tennis Cambodia
The organizers were also keen to thank Cambodia for their hosting of the event, as well as pointing out the potential benefits that it may bring, with Stubbs adding “We hope that such an event will not only help raise the profile of the sport in Cambodia, but also show young players that there is huge potential for work and travel if you succeed at the top level”.
He further went on to praise Cambodia on how the sport is developing within the Kingdom, while also pointing out that more had to be done at youth levels, as well as in making the sport more accessible to those on lower incomes.
This was further echoed by the Cambodian organizers, such as Neak Okhna Sear Rithy, Chairman of Tennis Cambodia who pledged to use the event as a further springboard for the development of the game within the Kingdom.
How can I watch the ITF Asian Junior Championship?
The event which is being sponsored by ABA Bank, as well as Tennis Cambodia’s kit providers Desportol among other is being hosted at the Morodok Techo National Stadium.
It is being played September 4th through 8th, with the final matches and closing ceremony taking place on the last day. The event is open to spectators, media and members of the public alike.
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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