Sport Journey in Cambodia

Back in my hometown Kampong Speu, my family live in a small village called Trav. There is nothing much happening in the village rather then villagers going to the rice farm. Once I was 6 year old my mom force me to go to school about 2 km away from our house. She brought me to school for the 1st week of school then I ride my own bicycle by myself. Whenever my mom took me to school she always told me to focus on classes work not playing physical games with my male classmate. With the confusing expression on my face, she refused my face and turn to my teacher and told him to take care of me. I can see the frightening looked on her face. Everyday I refused what my mom said and play physical sports with my male class mats. I told them to hide this with my parents so they won’t punish me.   

As a young teenage girls living at the government school in rural Kampong Speu who never got a chances to play any proper sport, and all I did was kicking the ball with no strategies and just running around. As i got older the boys started to refuse me playing football with them. Whenever I asked then to play football and they responded with an aggressive NO! I was confused and upset when they refused my favor. Nevertheless their words can stop me playing sports. From that moment I reflected to myself and committed to work hard and one day to prove that they are wrong.   

 

In 2012, I got an amazing opportunity to come and learn at an amazing school called Liger Leadership Academy. I said to myself, this is a great opportunities to prove my old friends was wrong. I had join any sports activities that given from the coaches. First sports that I had join was Football. I was try tremendously in focusing on sports and also my academic. Furthermore I had join basketball, swimming and frisbee. With a hard work in physical sports, finally i got an opportunities to compete in  Manila Spirit for Cambodian ultimate team. Latter on, I went to compete more tournament oversea and nationally. One of the competition called, “Grizzly Opening,” this competition was held in Malaysia and this is one of the best competition because we play in women’s division.

 

Girl doing sports is not a culture for females in Cambodia.  They usually staying under the shade or “jol m’lup”. This is a culture that Cambodian girls usually do: protect their skin from the sun, learn how to cook, how to be a wife and learn how to be a proper girl. This are the culture that most of Cambodian are following. Now, 2019 people are educated enough so they let their daughter playing a lot of sport also doing physical activities.

 

My mom, Sokha said that,“ Before I would not allow both of my daughter playing sports because they might get hurt also might forget to do school work.”  My mom really want me to focus on school more than everything else. She also said that school is very important for my future also my family future. Nowadays, our family is one of the poorest family in the village so she think that the only thing we could be better is to get a good education. But if I really appreciate in doing sports activities, I got the best support from her and my entire family. My mom is the biggest supporter I ever had. She also stated that, “ In her childhood, she never have a chance to get what she want and to do what she love. So, she want her daughters to got the chance that they want also achieve their dream.” Having the  tremendous support from my parent pushes me to work extremely hard to reach my dreams.

 

A Cambodian collage student also said that, “In the future he will allow his daughter to play sport because it is healthy and also make her brave both physical and metal. I will support her if she needed!” It’s really rare for a young Cambodian to say and encourage girls (daughter) doing physical activities. The country is developing people also develop their perspective on gender. Girls can do more than staying at home and to be a wife. All they need is an encouragement.  

 

Women are smarter than people are round think about them think. Each and every women around the world have their own potential and their own strength.  They need an encouragement and chances. Since i got and opportunities to play sports i hope that girls around the world has this opportunities too. Since Cambodia develop citizen also develop their  though and get more influence from an outside world.

 

To all girls out there, show your potential, strength and ability to work hard or even harder then some boys!

 

Grizzly Opening – Ultimate Frisbee

In Liger there are many opportunities for students including in the country and overseas. These opportunities lead me to many provinces and countries. By joining ultimate frisbee had to lead me to three different countries: Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.  

 

This opportunity quire us more effort for training every Sunday and spend our school time traveling. Every Sunday we travel to train with our coach and teammate. When we went to train our coach had keep track on our attendance and how we do on our training. When we come back I have to write a report back to our coach and give some feedback. Sometimes I have to report the coaches how many people are going to training. I knew the plan that we are going to play at Grizzly in March so I have to try my best to prove that I can play at Grizzly.

 

A few weeks letter our coach told us that how many people can go to play at Grizzly. I was happy that I can go but also sad that some of my teammates can’t go. After I knew that I will play in Grizzly I had told myself that “I will try my best for this tournament”.  I am so gladful that my coach had picked me to be one of the team captains. The first impression that I made was excited also scared that I won’t be a good team captain.

 

We went to Setia, Malaysia on 16 March 2018 until 19 March 2018.  This was the third countries that I had travel through ultimate frisbee. I had played in Philippine for AOUGCC and Vietnam for Mekong Cup and now Malaysia for Grizzly Open. It was grateful to be Cambodian girls and have a lot of sports opportunities to travel and meet other players. I hope that all Cambodian girls receive these opportunities like me too.

Our team name Bee Force and we have 21 players from Cambodia that went to compete in Setia. In this tournament, we will play against 6 other teams. The team that we play against are: Oops, Care Bear, Badgers, Islander, Rajacks, Ipohbug. They are experienced player and they had joint many tournaments. For Bee Force, this is our first year playing ultimate also our first international game. Even Though this is our first game but everyone enjoyed playing it and at last we are in the rank of 6 out of 8.

 

I was grateful to get that new experience in Setia. Moreover, I am very thankful for my coaches to give a trust on me to be the first Cambodian female captain for ultimate frisbee to play overseas.   Also thanks to all my beloved teammate that always support each other and being a nice Bee Force Family.  

Sea Festival – Ultimate Frisbee

It was a great experience to join the Sea Festival with SWA team and other Foreigners! I had help to organize the trip to Kep for the Liger students. It was really complicate to organize for Liger students since they are on their holiday and we have difficulties with communication since most of them are not active on their messenger. I had selected to be an organizer with other 4 adults! Since we are under 18 year old we had to sign with some rules that we shouldn’t do during trip. So we leave for the trip on the 23rd of December, 2017 in the morning and come back on 24th evening! In this trip SWA was corporate with the government.

During the festival all sports or participants need to etten the pirate for the Prime Minister of Cambodia. It was my pleasure to be 1 of the 10 people to participants in the pirate since we have the total of 50 players. It was a great experience to show people what is frisbee and to see different sport!

Out of though 50 players they had divide into 4 different teams! I’m glad that i can be one of the team captain. It was my first time being team captain in Frisbee also it was really complicated since i don’t know some of my team member and it hard to be to communicate with them. What I had to do is finding place for them to eat, call them 30 minutes before game start for the team meeting and be the person who speak on the spirate circle. It is way complicate then what i expected since i have 12 player to look after and all of them have different idea to do things. In overall i think i did a great job on keep track of them since none of my team member was late for game.
We had a showcase for people who go to visit Sea Festival on 23rd evening and warm up play from 7 – 9:30 pm. For the 10 people who participate in the pirate have to miss the show case since we are waiting from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm then we just go to our station and play until 9:00pm. It was a great time for the liger students to meet new players and share their experience.

24 Dec was a big day for us since all team have a competition. I’m not expect my team to win the 1st place but all I want is to have fun, try our best, keep cheer for each other and enjoy our last day of Sea Festival with each other. Our biggest problem was the weather. The sand was really hot that we can’t play for too long. Also our team have only 3 girls left since 1 of the player have a bike competition so I have to play straight up to 4-5 points. Lastly i really enjoyed the trip and meeting new players and i hope that i can participate Sea Festival 2018.

Swimming

Since Liger don’t have a swim coach. I request to learn with the other school or place that have someone to coach me. Everyone in Liger knows how much I love swimming and how much I enjoy swimming. So I have got an opportunity to learn at other internatonal school call iCan. At iCan they had a swim coach and a bigger pool then we have. So I went to iCan every Wednesday afternoon for the swimming training. I have 45 min to train with a better coach that he had past the safety guard certificate and he had join Cambodia swim. He is a guard for The Mekong Swim. So everyday we are practice for different stroke such as butterfly, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke. We start with 8 lengths of each stroke, then we are working on our leg, hand and both. Teacher always be there for us to correct our stroke and whenever we have a problem. When we swim, we have a particular time to swim and rest. Wild we swim we have two focus such as speed and stroke. I have observed that after training with them for a few weeks seem like my speed goes faster and faster. I hope in the future i can gather students and make a Liger Swim Team so that we can got a chance to compete with the other team.