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Chheng Chanda jumps for the disc at the 2017 Big Phat Phnom Penh Hat. Indrabott Romnea
Chheng Chanda jumps for the disc at the 2017 Big Phat Phnom Penh Hat. Indrabott Romnea

Phat Hat a success as discers eye Manila

The Cambodia Flying Disc Federation, the Kingdom’s ultimate frisbee body, yesterday hailed its annual Big Phat Phnom Penh Hat (BPPPH) tournament at the weekend a resounding success as it prepares to send a team to its first ever world body sanctioned regional competition.

Tournament director Flo Zwiers told The Post yesterday that he was extremely happy with the funds raised at the event. “The BPPPH was a great success and will go a huge way to helping us send a strong team to Manila for the Asia Oceanic Ultimate Club Championship in August,” he said.

“We had a lot of help from international and local sponsors, including Sairecabur, PP Physio and the Agile Development Group. “We plan to send a mixed squad of about 20 men and women. Our coach will be Amaury Peeters, who has previously co-captained and coached a Belgian club at a World Club Championship, and who has played for the Belgian national team and been president of the French-speaking Belgian Frisbee Association.

“As it will be the first time Cambodia participates in an event sanctioned by world governing body the World Flying Disc Federation [WFDF], since being accepted as a member in December, it means we will get an official world ranking afterwards, which is similar to a FIFA coefficient in football, for subsequent tournaments,” Zwiers added.

This year, nearly 150 players took part in the event, which had nine teams of seven created by picking participants’ names out of a hat, hence the tournament’s name.

That meant players got to play in teams with players from all over the region and even further abroad, something that was a big plus for Cambodian player Mak Tongly. “I liked this year’s tournament very much because my team had some strong players from other countries,” he said.

He added that he was happy to win the “spirit award”, a prize reserved for the team that showed the most sportsmanship and dedication to the rules. This is a huge part of the sport as it is completely self-refereed.

Chheng “Da” Chanda, a veteran of four years who captained the runners-up and who won the tournament’s MVP award, said: “This edition was incredibly fun and definitely the most successful edition of the BPPPH yet.”

Chanda added that he was especially impressed with the Cambodian players. “I saw a lot of improvements with skill and confidence of the Khmer players, especially female players. I saw a lot of points scored by female players.”

This development didn’t go unnoticed by visiting players either. The captain of the winning team, Jess Daniels, who lives and plays ultimate in Vietnam, said those taking part from neighbouring countries were impressed with the local players.

“It was impossible to watch any of the games without noticing the dedication and heart the Cambodian players brought to the field,” she said. “The entire Asian ultimate community is impressed with what Cambodia is doing with their ultimate program and we can’t wait to see what happens next.”

For the Kingdom’s ultimate community, the goal will now be to wow their peers in the Philippines in August.

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