Taken from PPUA's Website
By Nyko Dupuy. Photos on Flickr
Last week end, we went to Kampong Cham for the first ever Cambodian beach tournament and the first ever Khmer organized clinic.
We arrive by bus (with no more breaks), by vans, by very slow boat (12h trip) and even by motorbike (motivation prize for Dyno).
We were 12 from PPUA, 7 from SWA, 10 kids from Liger, 2 backpackers from Bangkok Hat, 2 Canadian tourists found by Kris on the beach, 20 future teachers from Vicki school and one journalist to cover the event.
Everybody gets a room at the Mekong Hotel. This hotel is well known for his rabbit on an elephant mascot and for the gigantic hallways where we could have organized another hat easily (one pitch on each floor).
We then meet at the famous Kampong Cham bamboo bridge (which is rebuild every dry season) to get to the sunny sand beach of Koh Pen. A special thanks to the persons who carries the 20L water bottle all the way.
There after cleaning the beach, setting up the fields and the shade we can start the beach tourney. Each team was name after an animal : Khla (Tiger), Tchhma (Cat), Tao (Lion), Moane (Chicken).
All games were intense, Khmers players score most of the point (at least in my team), everybody was running, laying out, cutting in the extremely hot sand (players without socks were running faster). Games were even with lots of universal points but at the end, the bravest animal wins : The chicken.
Back to the hotel with the empty bottles, the tarps, we all get a dinner organized by Vicki in a local restaurant named “Khmer Food”. We lost SWA team because they went to have Khmer food but not at Khmer food restaurant (confusing restaurant name).
Jared and Kris take another table to watch Russia loose their Hockey game at Sotchi. Then few people reach the Pirate (or Britons) bar next door to (try to) play pool.
Sunday. Wake up. Breakfast. Bamboo Bridge with moto to bring water bottles as nobody want to carry them ! Setting up the tent is less easy when it’s windy, isn’t it John and Rob.
Groups are made among the 60+ people thanks to Derrick who brings 15 more kids from Speu and extra players from Kampong Cham. SWA kids get each one (or two) a group and teach them to throw for beginner or more difficult exercises (including inside out) for confirmed.
While Khmer teach/learn and play a pickup, barangs were sleeping in the shade, playing with a baby or getting interviewed by the journalist. Everyone was so happy that this event will occur every year (some ask for 2 times a year other for a Cambodian all stars game on KC beach).
To finish the morning, prize ceremony were every participants gets a present (disc, bag, hat, krama, shirt, …). Unfortunately, there was no group picture, because we were late for the late check out and the Cambodians were very hungry.
Shower. Very late checkout. Invoices to pay. Some people try to get a lunch that never arrived or was not the good one. Return by 2 vans and a motorbike. Karaoke from SWA kids and baby throwing up to finish the trip.
Six of the Swa boys were invited the join the Vietnam HAT in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2013. This was the very first time that a group of Cambodian players participated in an international Frisbee competition. And as for some of them, this was their first time crossing the border. This trip was a life changing experience for all of them especially in how they look at Frisbee and its community.
A HAT tournament is one where people are grouped based on their skill level and experience. So all of the boys were split up into different teams, wearing different color jerseys, and of course compete against each other. Many of them were nervous and excited to be separated but they were ready. Before the tournament, the boys rarely had real practices and experience playing in a team let alone joining a big group of international Frisbee players. But they did a wonderful job! Many of their team members took the team to teach the boys and allow them to make mistakes on the field. Our boys played their hearts out. By the end of the tournament, they have learned many new skills, tricks, and rule of the game. They were anxious to return and share those with their teammates. Finally, this tournament was definitely a turning point for them. After returning, they wanted to form a real team. They put way more efforts and time into practice and always look for ways to improve their skills. Because of their enthusiasm, the Swa team have recruited more members and continue to receive praises from members of the Frisbee community.
More photos here.
Taken from PPUA's site:
On Sunday, November 3rd, Phnom Penh Ultimate and SWA Ultimate took a break from weekly pickup and league games to host a full day of ultimate frisbee for young and old, girls and guys, new and experienced, khmer and barang players from all over Cambodia and beyond.
In the morning, 140 Khmer boys and girls aged 10-18 practiced throwing, defense, stacking, and playing ultimate games with 20 volunteer coaches during a clinic sponsored by Phnom Penh Ultimate. American Peace Corps volunteers Vicki and Derick chaperoned kids from Kompong Cham and Kompong Cham Speu, where their kids have been playing and practicing regularly. Vicki, whose students are all girls, says, “My students come from the Provincial Teacher Training College. After the workshops, they play pickup on a regular basis outside of their school. They even force the male soccer players to share their sports space to make room for ultimate! Also, Sonita, Sina and Sokphal, my three most dedicated players, are super excited to plan a Kampong Cham sand tourney with Amaury and myself. I want to make sure at least these 3 get a chance to participate in big phat. it would be a dream come true.”
Large contingents from the Youth Ultimate Project and the Liger school of Cambodia also joined, and three fields were packed with kids. The kids showed a lot of improvement throughout the day. PPUA hopes they will continue to enjoy learning the sport, share it with their friends, and advance their skills for future clinics and tournaments.
On their way out, kids were overheard saying, “I’m tired and have a headache, but can we come back next week??” Another of Derick’s kids said “Thank you, it is my best day!”. About the trip, Derick said, “My kids are loving learning to play. And they’re way excited about this chance to learn more and play against others. Being so rural (location and culturally), they’ve never had the chance to do something like this. Many of the parents are freaking out because ‘it is so far!!!’ To them, Phnom Penh might as well be another whole country.”
Full photo album. Photos by Dan Friendly, Chanda Cheng, and Andrew Appell