Photo by: NICK SELLS nicksellsphotography.com
Girls teams from Human Resources Universoty (in blue) and Stung Treng street children (in yellow) play during the Cambodian College Basketball tournament inside Olympic Stadium Wednesday.
THE newly reconstituted Cambodia Basketball Federation (CBF) will aim
to take basketball in the Kingdom to greater heights, revealed CBF
Secretary General Mak Chanphirun. The Basketball Federation underwent restructuring December 12 of last year, with Cambodian Ambassador to Korea Lim Samkol emerging as president, Plong Ly Dern elected as vice president and an 11-strong executive committee put in place.
"We have set out three main targets this year," stated Mak Chanphirun. "First is a coaching clinic in September, then a 3-on-3 tournament in October. [The year will] culminate with a referees clinic in December."
According to the Mak Chanphirun, who is also on the staff at the National Assembly, there is a dearth of qualified basketball coaches and referees in Cambodia, which significantly limits the development of the game. The secretary asserted that the federation is working hard to raise the standard of the game just like their counterparts, the Cambodian Football Federation. "The problem is lack of coaches," he said. "We [presently] have only 3 basketball coaches. It was five initially, but two have gone to the Taekwondo Federation. This is why we are planning the coaching clinic to help us train new coaches for the sport."
Mak Chanphirun went on to remark that most of the coaches obtain general sports coaching certificates, and lack specific basketball knowledge. "To get good players, you need good coaches," he said, adding that good players also need good referees. "Thus we also need to train referees to know the rules of the game [Basketball]."
Mak Chanphirun also mentioned that SEA Games hosts Laos have failed to provide sufficient facilities to allow nations to compete in basketball at the tournament in December. Nevertheless, the BFC official said they have mapped out plans to keep the national team busy in preparation for series of competitions coming up in 2010. "We will not relent in our preparations," he declared.
Currently Cambodia boasts only four basketball teams, so there are no major domestic tournaments. However, in the near future the CBF, along with the Sports ministry intend to start a league featuring teams developed from grassroots programmes across the country. BFC President Lim Samkol is also attempting to attract foreign sponsors to support the programmes of the federation. "Our president [Lim Somkol] is doing his best even from abroad," claimed Mak Chanphirun. "We hope to promote the awareness of the game starting with the
three-on-three tournament, and then [build up] to the five-a-side games."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Youths and Sports is holding a college basketball tournament, which started Saturday at the Olympic Stadium, comprised of five boys teams (Build Bright University, Norton University, Human Resources University, University of Technology and Cambodia Mekong University) and four girls teams (Build Bright University, Human Resources University, Mith Samlang organization, and a street team from Stung Treng). The final games are scheduled to play out on Wednesday at 2:30pm. The CBF is keeping a keen eye on the tournament with the hope of selecting the best players to play for the national teams.