Final 8 Cambodian players will participating SATUC World Cup 2017

Cambodian Players names

  • CHHANG SOTHEA
  • HUON PON
  • KEOURNG CHHANY
  • KORNG THIKA
  • LAK META
  • POENG KVY
  • THONG ROTHNA
  • VONG SAIYA

Cambodian Coaches

Cambodian Coaches names

  • IM SOPHEAK MAKARA
  • KEOURNG CHHANY

Young Cambodian football players preparing for international debut at the 2017 SATUC Cup.
Eight talented football players from slum communities in Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh will travel abroad for the first time in their lives to represent their country in the 2017 SATUC Cup. The Cambodian team will consist of 14-15 year old students from ISF’s Football Programme, which supports over 3,800 Cambodian children through its leagues, tournaments, festivals and regular coaching. The programme provides children with not only football skills, but also the opportunity to develop life skills and confidence, to learn about important social issues and to have fun.

More than 100 talented players took part in the first stage of selection at ISF in December 2016, where 15 exceptional young athletes were chosen to move on to the next stage of selection for this once in a lifetime opportunity. During the initial stage of selection, ISF coaches focused on players’ overall skills including first touch, awareness and speed. The 15 players have continued to train with ISF coaches twice a week, before the selection of the final eight which took place last week.

For these eight talented young players, who represent five different teams from around Phnom Penh, this is just the beginning of what will be an intensive few months of training and preparation. Supported by the dedicated ISF Football Programme Team, the players will take part in regular coaching and practice games to prepare them for their international debut in August, when they hope to bring back victory for ISF and Cambodia.

Cambodia Team 2017 SATUC World Cup, training

About Starfish Foundation

They belief that each and every one of us can make a difference, one child at a time. “The tide has gone out and has left a million starfish stranded on the beach. They are slowly dying under the heat of the sun. A little girl is walking along this beautiful sandy beach. As she walks along, she picks up a starfish and throws it back into the sea. She then picks another one and another, throwing each into the sea. An old man watches her for a while then walks up to her and says “What are you doing little girl? There are millions of starfish out there dying. You cannot believe that you can make a difference”. The girl kneels down, picks up a starfish, throws it into the sea and says “I made a difference to that one”

In 2005 Peter Slater & a group of like-minded friends, all of whom had worked and lived in Asia for a number of years, visited Cambodia. All were impacted by the beauty of the country and how wonderful the Cambodian people, both young and old, were. However it was also impossible not be struck by the devastating result of the Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge regime which caused the deaths of around 2 million Cambodians (out of a total population of around 8 million). Across the country it was still evident through the levels of poverty, the lack of infrastructure and education (as so many doctors, nurses, teachers, and other educated professionals were killed during the regime) as well as on the faces of many – even after so many years had passed.

Walking through the streets, talking to local people, visiting a number of NGO’s (Non Governmental Organisations / Charities) and orphanages it was clear to the group that there was a desperate need for help and an opportunity to make a real, tangible and meaningful difference to the lives of many children. The Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) was formed, and the group became its first Trustees. It was very quickly agreed that their focus would be centred around two core programmes, an education programme and a football coaching programme, as each would have a profound and significant impact on the lives of many children.

ISF provides education, healthcare and sporting opportunities to disadvantaged children in Cambodia. In addition ISF provides support services to the families and wider communities of the children in our education programme to enable them to break the cycle of poverty they are currently trapped in. Through ISF’s Education Programme, which is a community based model, services are provided to children and their families within their communities, thus preventing the children from being unnecessarily institutionalized or removed from their families. This model provides opportunities to the children and their parents; empowering them to change their own circumstances. Parents are also involved in the key decision making of ISF which provides them with dignified support that respects them rather than providing hand outs and creating dependency.

The intended benefits of the programme to every child we work with is that we give the foundations of an education, improve their health and nutrition, give them confidence and give them the opportunity to aspire to a better life. We support the students throughout their education and help them find to gainful employment. ISF has grown from providing basic education opportunities to 18 children in 2006 to over 600 in 2016. Our plan is to take an additional 100 students into our education programme each year. Through the services provided to the families of the children ISF works with, almost 2,000 additional people are supported.

ISF, with the support of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), plays a key role in providing grassroots footballing opportunities to some of Cambodia’s most disadvantaged children. This programme has grown from 50 players in 2006 to over 3,800 in 2016; our provision of football for female players has grown from 48 players in 2008 to over 1,600 in 2016; 2011 saw the addition of deaf and hearing impaired players, ISF has since built on the foundations of this programme; and March 2013 expanded to introduce football activities to players with intellectual disabilities. The Football Programme has a League which operates for 6 months a year and 3 annual tournaments held in February/March and September. In addition to this we use the platform of football to teach children valuable life lessons such as the dangers of drugs, alcohol and gambling and about prevalent social issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking and gender equality.