Awards season is upon us, and Siem Reap has its own nominee to get excited about: Globalteer’s sports manager Charlie Pomroy, who has been nominated in the third annual WEGO Health Awards, in the Health Activist Hero category.
The American-run website is a networking outlet for online health enthusiasts, and Pomroy, who has worked for Globalteer for a year and a half, was nominated by volunteer coordinator Lisa Morris for his work building the NGO’s sports program.
The Health Activist award recognises people who “go out of their way to make a difference on a daily basis.”
In her application submission to WEGO, Morris wrote that within a year Charlie had taken the project from a couple of teenagers knocking a ball around on a dirt wasteland to a huge, year-round involvement featuring soccer and volleyball tournaments, a mini-Olympics, “empowerment sessions” for girls, with one girl getting scouted by a national team, and much more.
She said the project attracts more than 2,000 kids, and that sport is presented as a fun opportunity which can lead to professional employment, career development and a healthy lifestyle, breaking out of the barriers which poverty creates for youth.
She added, “His boundless energy, love of sport and passion for sharing inspires the most timid and motivates the most talented. The Sports Program would not be a success without him.”
Pomroy said he was stunned when he heard he’d been nominated, up against about 50 other people.
“It is a shock,” he said. “When I read what everybody else has been doing, to even be considered in the same breath as some of these people is a great thing.”
Both agreed that despite facing some challenges along the way, the Globalteer Sports Program has gained momentum.
“It seemed like a luxury to begin with,” Morris said. “We were told we wouldn’t be able to get funding for something like that when there are much more extreme needs. But just seeing the popularity and seeing the difference it’s making – it just exploded.
“I think Charlie’s sacrificed a lot, committed a lot, done above and beyond the call of duty for the sports team. Really worked one on one with volunteers, local coaches and all the kids, just given his all.”
And he’s not resting on his laurels. Future plans include taking the under-13 boys team to Phnom Penh to represent Siem Reap in a national football tournament in March, and an even bigger Globalteer mini-Olympics.
The Globalteer Games are on July 27 and the results of the WEGO Health Activist Awards will be announced on March 28.