Australian wheelchair expert Crump to visit Cambodia

By: H S Manjunath

Veteran Australian Wheelchair Tennis coach Greg Crump will visit Cambodia from May 2 to 8 along with Player Ambassador Anthony Bonaccurso to counduct coaches and players clinics in Phnom Penh and Battambang as part of the world governing body’s push for equal opportunities to the disabled.

Cambodia, being a project country for the ITF program under a two-year contract, the May camp is a follow-up of the first conducted by another Australian coach Joe Kubizniak about six months ago.

Crump brings a wealth of experience having started coaching as far back as 1980s. He is currently coaching the Australian national wheelchair team after leading the country in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London

“Crump’s visit is very significant for Tennis Cambodia, all the local coaches involved in this program and the players in the context of 17 new sports wheelchairs being made available in late February this year” noted the secretary general of Tennis Cambodia Tep Rithivit, who has just returned home after watching the Monte Carlo clay court event as a special invitee.

As many as nine China-made wheelchairs, five of which donated by Pakistan Davis Cupper Aisan Qureshi’s Stop War Start Tennis Foundation, were given away to the players at the La Paloma Centre for the Disabled in Battambang run by the Apostolic Prefecture there. Rest of the stock is in Phnom Penh for use by emerging players.

The Australian expert will hold a two-day coaches clinic in Phnom Penh on May 3 and 4 followed by a visit to Battambang for a one-day players clinic. He is likely to visit one of the schools for the disabled situated in the outskirts of Phnom Penh to raise awareness among the students about the wheelchair tennis.

The 40-year-old Anthony Bonaccurso, took up wheelchair tennis in 1993 after an accident left him with severe spinal injuries. He was a member of the Australian team that won the World Team Cup in Italy.

“His attitude is, that’s what you’ve got, get on with it. He played tennis as part of his rehab and carried on from there. He’s very strong, fit, fast and focused,” commented Anthony Bonaccurso’s travelling companion Greg Crump.