Sunday saw the conclusions of the 2012 SMART Street Football Tournament and six separate SALT Academy Youth Futsal Leagues at the two purpose-built street pitches next to the Naga Fountain on the riverside of Battambang town.
Hundreds of spectators enjoyed a wealth of exciting adult street football matches over two and a half days as well as futsal finals on Sunday in the categories of Boys U11, U14 and U17 and Girls U11, U14 and U17 (Big Girls).
Music, live commentary and food stalls around the fields entertained the crowds during the sunny weekend.
The street football final was single-handedly decided by Bun Boran, who scored a hat-trick for his team, Dana FC, in their 4-1 defeat of FC Crown.
Meanwhile, in the Boys U16 decider, Jerusalem took no prisoners in their 8-0 destruction of CFI. DCC clinched the Boys U14 title with a 5-2 victory past Salaa Hope, as Aden beat Jerusalem 6-3 in the Boys U11 class.
In the Big Girls championship match, a dramatic penalty shoot-out had Chher Teal school emerge as winners with a 4-2 result over Chrey. CFI then forced Chrey into runners-up spot with a 2-0 win in the Girls U14 final. Khsach Poy school side edged Rapha House 3-2 in the Girls U11 showdown, which was also decided by spotkicks.
Tok Bonthuen, representative of the Battambang department of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, congratulated all teams and players while heralding the tournament and its organisers.
“I am convinced that events of this scale are very beneficial for the region and the whole country,” he said in his address during the award ceremony on Sunday afternoon. “I strongly believe that the talents of these children can help address many of Cambodia’s challenges. I would like to congratulate all participants and encourage them to stay involved in football and to live a healthy lifestyle without drugs.”
SALT Academy director Sam Schweingruber was delighted to reach their sixth year of competition. “I am very excited to see the high standard of football played on the pitch and the level of fair play shown,” he told the Post.
“For the first time, we could include an U11 Girls competition, which is a great sign for the development of football for the smallest players in Battambang province. A special thank you goes to our partner Smart Mobile who made this final possible.”
The SALT League will be back on the grass fields of Battambang next month for the new seasons. The life skills topic for the campaign will be part two of the Anti-Addictive Behaviour Curriculum that was started two years ago.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Riley at [email protected]