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Angkor 10s to host more explosive rugby battles

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Players from the Saigon Geckos (red shirts) and the Southerners contest a lineout during last year’s ANZ Royal Angkor 10s tournament played at Northbridge field. Photograph supplied

Players from the Saigon Geckos (red shirts) and the Southerners contest a lineout during last year’s ANZ Royal Angkor 10s tournament played at Northbridge field. Photograph supplied

The city of Phnom Penh had better be prepared for an explosion of sorts when Hammies Dynamiters from South Africa line up for the prestigious 2012 ANZ Royal Angkor 10s rugby tournament with a truly international flavour at the Old Stadium on October 27.

The Dynamiters are among the 12 teams fighting for supremacy in this bone-crunching competition, arguably the blue riband event in the Cambodian Federation of Rugby’s annual calendar since its inception at the turn of the millennium.

The 12th running of the Angkor 10s will be marked by the traditional reunion of the Old Boys on October 26 involving four teams.

While high-octane rugby is on the menu for sports fans, there is plenty on offer for socialites and fun seekers over two red-hot days. The fierce battles on the pitch and festivities around it will dissolve into a grand dinner at 7:30pm on October 27.

The venue is the NagaWorld Grand Ballroom, where non-players are also welcome at $30 per person.

In all this rush, the Federation has carefully crafted an exhibition game between two U15 local sides – ASPECA Rugby Club and PSE – to showcase grassroots development.

The four teams of over 35s – Boxhill Unquenchables (Australia), Tots RFC (Cambodia), Hammies Dynamiters (South Africa) and Indo Baba (mixed Southeast Asia) will be in action on the pitch from noon to 5pm, renewing old friendships and rivalries.

Meanwhile, the confirmed entries for the showpiece are Sisowath Knights, Stade Khmer, Kochul, Les Piliers d’Angkor and Tots RFC (Cambodia), CS Larrakins (Dubai), Bedock Kings and INSEAD (Singapore), SOS International (mixed Southeast Asia), Hammies Dynamiters (South Africa), Southerners (Thailand) and Hanoi Dragons (Vietnam).

Rugby’s social-awareness side

The monthly highlight for the rugby fraternity on September 22 was a highly educational program the Federation arranged with the assistance of Todd Smith and the team at Ripple Effect. A full day of training for 22 members of the rugby family touched on the issues of preventing violence against women and girls.

The program, known as RESPECT – Good Men in Rugby, helps actively promote the message championing gender equality. Participants learned about six commitments in order to better value women and treat them with respect and dignity.

The campaign was co-ordinated with the support of Paz y Desarrollo, a Spanish international NGO working in the area of gender and women’s rights empowerment. The organisation has been a catalyst for the campaign, not only in Cambodia but also in Vietnam and Laos.

This is a nationwide initiative supported by the CFR with the aim of educating young men on the importance of gender equality.

Tournament to show respect

In November a one-day Rugby Respect tournament will be held in Phnom Penh involving up to 600 young people participating in rugby matches and other activities promoting respect, gender equality and teamwork. There will be  a quiz, games, prizes and music sessions with a DJ.

The schools and organisations involved are ASPECA, Friends International, Cambodian Children’s Fund, iCAN, Krousar Thmey, Indochina Starfish Foundation and PSE, as well as players from CFR rugby clubs Stade Khmer and Sisowath Knights.

To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at hirimanju@yahoo.com

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