The past issues of Lift have focused on various career paths and educational opportunities. This week we decided to break from our typical topics and focus on sports, which may not be integral to your career advancement but can still give you a boost in everything else you do in your life.
People who play sports are healthier and in better shape, and many of the athletes we talked to for this issue said it makes them happier. There are all kinds of fun things you can do with your free time: watch TV, play video games, talk with friends over coffee or surf the Internet. But with sports you can have fun and help your body at the same time.
Unlike some countries, where millions of children dream of making millions of dollars playing professional sports, Cambodia has few lucrative career opportunities in sports. However, many people have still made sports their passion and have devoted their life to the pursuit of excellence.
In recent years, more and more of Cambodia’s best athletes receive their livelihood from playing sports. In Phnom Penh’s top football leagues, some players receive hundreds of dollars a month in salary and sponsorships. Players on Cambodia’s national teams receive a monthly stipend of between US$50 and $100 to represent Cambodia in domestic and international competitions. Boxers, especially those who win most of their matches, can make well over $100 a month.
Though not everyone can be a top athlete, other jobs have sprouted up for people within the sports industry. People who talk about sports on TV, write about sports in print and online (like Ung Chamreoun on page 10) and coach and manage athletes and sports teams. In developed countries, sports is a multi-billion dollar industry. The scene here is much smaller at the moment, but it is getting bigger by the day, and in this week’s issue we celebrate the power and the future of sports in Cambodia.