One phone call ends, another one rings. And Yean Ky Bophal is the person who answers those endless callers.
Bophal, 22, is a liaison officer for the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), as our country prepares to host the BIDC Cup.
The cup is awarded to the winner of the Mekong Region Youth under-21 friendship tournament, contested by six countries: Cambodia, China’s Hongxian FC, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Although the tournament won’t begin for another two weeks, it’s the busiest time of the year for Bophal.
It’s part of her job to arrange every single detail for the competing teams: supplies of drinking water; training schedules; making contact with committees; and countless other related tasks. “I am the representative of Cambodia, so I need to be ready to provide the visiting teams with my best and warmest welcome,” Bophal says.
“I actually don’t need to be on stand-by all the time, but I do commit myself to be here any time my team needs me.”
Being a liaison officer for the FFC requires Bophal to not only function as a facilitator but also as a sport practitioner. She keeps in touch with the teams and the sport’s culture.
Double-checking all the small details is very important. If I was a bit careless and overlooked something vital, it would be terrible
After spending a couple of days with Bophal and seeing her involvement with her job, I could see she had prepared all the materials, a spot for the Myanmar team to train, and the competition venues.
And, after the training sessions, she managed all the equipment such as the balls, the icebox and the dirty football jumpers. I would describe it as a tough day with a really tight schedule.
To me, it all seemed very complicated, as I don’t really know the process of this sport. But it’s far from new for Bophal, as she has a sporting background and a lot of experience in this kind of work.
“I actually was a sport player before,” she says. “Moreover, I started in this career in 2008.”
This kind of job is best suited to a person who is multi-skilled and can get things done.
“My work requires me to not only have a knowledge of sport, but also good communication skills, English language and the ability to work flexible hours,” Bophal says.
By this stage, she is moving around the football field to check that everything had been done.
“Double-checking all the small details is very important. If I was a bit careless and overlooked something vital, it would be terrible,” she says.
All in all, even though this job often makes Bophal very tired, her smile tells me she gets great pleasure from doing it. And it’s great fun for me to have the opportunity to hang around with her.