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Golf: ruins walks, saves kids’ lives. Photo supplied
Golf: ruins walks, saves kids’ lives. Photo supplied

Teeing-off for children’s health

Next month, Siem Reap golf enthusiasts will be able to tee off for a good cause on a great course when the inaugural Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) Charity Golf Classic gets underway on October 9 at the Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort.

Registration closes on September 28, says AHC communications manager Yvette Height, with part of the $145 fee going to fund the hospital’s activities. The inaugural event follows a charity football match held this month in Siem Reap to raise money for AHC, and a golf event in Singapore.

“After hosting a similar event in Singapore earlier this year, we are all really excited to see another great event for an amazing cause,” says Height.

Participants have signed up from as far away as Hong Kong and Singapore, attracted by the challenge of pitting their skills against a course designed by the world’s former leading golfer (for a remarkable 97 weeks straight).

The day’s activities go beyond driving, chipping and putting; they also include a kids’ clinic where the youngsters will have a chance to take a swing at a golf ball, and participants will get a private tour of the hospital to see AHC’s work.

AHC’s main hospital in downtown Siem Reap sees 500-600 patients each day, but the organisation also runs a satellite clinic at the Sotnikum Referral Hospital outside Siem Reap, providing services to more distant communities.

All care at AHC is free, says Height, which means the main costs to families seeking treatment are transport, food and shelter – all aspects with which AHC helps. The lack of health literacy among ordinary people, however, remains a challenge: symptoms are treated but the root causes remain unaddressed.

Height says the hospital, which costs $6.5 million a year to run, has programs to address both issues. Its social workers conduct financial assessments and can provide financial support to families during their treatments; and its staff help to improve the skills of healthcare workers in the country and educate villagers in remote areas about health issues.

Last year, the hospital and its teams conducted more than 186,000 treatments. All of that costs money, the bulk of which comes from donors and supporters that give to specific projects – “like the golf day”, says Height.

Speaking of which, she adds, the tournament has prizes: return flights between Siem Reap and Hong Kong on Hong Kong Express; a bespoke weekend tour in Cambodia with Journeys Within; and luxury hotel prizes including stays at the Park Hyatt and Navutu Dream Resort.

The inaugural Angkor Hospital for Children Charity Golf Classic will take place on Sunday, October 9. Entrance fee is $145 – including buffet dinner, entertainment, prizes and a donation to AHC. Registrations close on Wednesday, 28th September. Contact events@angkorhospital.org for more details and to register.

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