The Inaugural ITF Worldwide Participation Conference took place inside the Chelsea Football Stadium at Stamford Bridge in London from July 8th to 9th, 2018. A global conversation about tennis participation worldwide was conducted over the two-day conference. A total of 196 delegates attended the conference.
Head of Junior Development, Phalkun Mam, spoke about strategies that have driven participation in a variety of national associations.
The ITF WPC’s purpose was to start a global conversation about participation in tennis worldwide, with many National Association case studies where delegates presented on strategies that have driven national participation. One of the speakers was the Head of Junior Development of Tennis Cambodia, Phalkun Mam. Mam focused on keywords such as “create, integrate, include, fun, free, plan, and participate,” as a method to helped drive participation in Cambodia. He first began with Tennis Cambodia Northwest’s renowned Wat Bo Primary School and the teacher training program. Mam spoke of the wheelchair program in Battambang, the inclusion of orphanages in the STI and JTI programs, and discussed Tennis for All and the Cardio Tennis sessions at the Olympic Stadium. Mam concluded his presentation with TC’s slogan of “Remember to Remember,” a phrase which pays homage to the complete eradication of tennis during the Khmer Rouge. By remembering the lives of those lost and returning the sport of tennis to Cambodia, this generation of tennis players can honor the players of the past.
“It was vital for us to attend the Worldwide Participation Conference, not only because it was the inaugural event, but because we are an active ITF Member Nation and who are we if we turn down the invitation to take part in a conference whose main purpose is to continue the global conversation about tennis,” stated Secretary General of TC, Rithivit Tep. “How can we improve the sport through increased participation?” Tep further added that in order to start conversations, they as an organization must first continue the current conversations with other nations.
Other topics that were presented included utilizing data and measuring insight in sports participation, benefits of participating in sport and physical activity, and strategies for attracting more women participation. Katrina Adams, the President of the United States Tennis Association, ITF Board Member, and key speaker, also addressed the subject of using technology in driving participation in sports and physical activities.