Mini Olympics up and running this Sunday

Children from NGO ABCs and Rice practice their 3-legged race skills. SUSANNA MOUMAR
Children from NGO ABCs and Rice practice their 3-legged race skills. SUSANNA MOUMAR

Mini Olympics up and running this Sunday

This Sunday teams from all nations will compete for Olympic gold – at the inaugural Globalteer Junior Olympics, from 8am-12pm at the Siem Reap Sports Stadium on Road Six.

Sports coordinator Charlie Pomroy came up with the idea following the success of the NGO Globalteer national football tournament earlier in the year.

Events range from the traditional sprinting to the somewhat less traditional wheelbarrow race.

“Most of the kids will have done running races, but they won’t have done the proper starts or practiced their technique,” Pomroy says. “They have their own version of high jump here so that’s another good one. We’ve got sprints, and relay races. Then we have triple jump, long jump and shot putt as well.

“We’ve also got some fun, wacky races; egg and spoon, three-legged, sack race and the wheelbarrow race. The children had no idea what a wheelbarrow was – as soon as they saw it, their laughter was incredible.”

Pomroy says he expects the young athletes to excel at certain events, such as the triple jump.

“I think the jumps are going to be interesting because young Khmers are all quite springy,” he says. “They’re all really light and they’ve got a leap. So they’re pretty good.”

Fourteen different NGOs with whom Globalteer works and around 400 kids will take part in three different age groups: 8-10, 11-14 and 15-18. Each NGO will represent a country of its choice, leading to some perhaps more unusual competitors.

“There’s no team GB,” laughs Pomroy. “But we do have Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The idea behind it being it could be a fun little art project as well at their school, where they learn about their new country.”

The opening ceremony takes place at 8am and naturally there will be an Olympic torch. ABCs and Rice organisation is making the torch from a plunger sprayed silver with tissue paper for the flame.

Each ‘country’ will create its own flag and perform a national song or dance at the ceremony.

“We’ve got one project, Kenya, that is bringing a drum and doing a Kenyan dance,” says Pomroy. “ABCs and Rice are Portugal and they’ve got a dance and a circus act ready to go. It’s almost overwhelming how big it’s become, and how quickly. It’s going to be pretty special.”

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