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!