Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pursat runs to raise money for school sports equipment

Pursat runs to raise money for school sports equipment

Pursat runs to raise money for school sports equipment


Hundreds of adults and children make a quick getaway at the start of the Pursat fun run.

Nearly 300 children and adults, some barefoot or wearing rubber flip flops, entered

a 10 km "fun run" to raise money to buy sports equipment for seven schools

in Pursat.

The November 3 run organized by the Pursat Provincial Department of Education, Youth

and Sport raised $425 to buy new running shoes and socks, footballs and volleyballs

for local schools.

The race initiator and main sponser Steve Harnett, a UNICEF worker in Pursat for

the last four years, said the idea was to get support for sports that don't get as

much recognition as football and boxing.

"It was great seeing all the smiles and looks of amazement on the faces of villagers

along the way. People were really getting into the spirit of it, throwing water over

us and offering us bottles of water as we ran," said Harnett, who finished 14th

in the event.

The winner was 21-year-old marathon runner Sean Sopheak, currently ranked No. 2 in

Cambodia. It was Sopheak's first professional race in his home province. Family and

friends traveled from the countryside to cheer him on, some following closely on

motorcycles or waiting on the sidelines with sprays of water.

"It's a big project for Pursat," Sopheak said just before sprinting off

from the starter's line. "I hope this program will help students in my province

to love sports."

The son of a rice farmer from the remote commune of Kanhchor, Sopheak began running

as a school boy, and twice has traveled to Singapore to represent Cambodia. In December

he will again compete in Singapore in a trip sponsored by the Cambodian Olympic committee.

He is studying engineering at Norton University on a scholarship from the Ministry

of Defense who he now represents in international marathon competitions.

His sister Sean Sopheap, 15, came in first in the 5km women's challenge.

With her 150,000 riel in prize money she said she plans to buy some ducks for her


Unmatched was the enthusiasm from the Sna Ansar middle school, which entered 37 of

its students from 10 to 16 years old. They traveled from Krakor to participate. Their

coach Sum Sorn, their maths teacher, said he trained with the children for one month

prior to the race.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release