Into TGL: The Sports Coaching Experience in Cambodia
November 18, 2016
Meet Amit Raja, a 33 year-old youngster from London, an investment bank trader by profession with an undying passion for football. He coaches at the Greenway’s sports outreach project, training the local kids – some of whom already play for the Samrong football team helping improve their skills, techniques and general game awareness. There are currently around 15 girls attending the morning session from 9am to 11am and over 40 boys joining for the afternoon session from 4pm to 6pm.
When asked what made him take up this programme for his vacation, he said that he decided to take two weeks off to travel solo (feeling too old for conventional backpacking*), and to have a meaningful experience in a country outside his own. So he decided to combine his passion for football and love for travelling, whilst contributing positively to the community as well.
He exclaims that he was amazed at how pure the interest in football was and how keen both the boys and the girls were to learn and improve. This was evident by the number of kids who attended the training sessions despite the searing heat. Contrary to what he had imagined, most of the kids even had the appropriate football gear, but the facilities they played on were very basic.
He is confident that with the right funding, dedicated coaching and structure the results will be there for all to see with opportunities for some of the players to compete at a higher level and break into the major leagues.
When reaching out to Mr Nuth Ya, the program coordinator as well as the country manager of our programs in Cambodia, he said that he always wanted to see the team from his province perform well at the national games and was looking forward to an opportunity to help them. He added that he was delighted to have a coach wanting to teach football to them and brought him down to Samrong. We hope to see them winning at the nationals someday, with a far-sighted coordinator and more enthusiastic coaching willing to help, Mr Ya’s vision is well within its reach.
*PS: We are never too old for backpacking ;), TGL wishes you many more meaningful travel experiences.