The Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled), organisers of July’s 2011 WOVD World Cup, has formed the Kingdom’s first women’s team for the deaf in association with local NGO Hope for Deaf and Disabled of Cambodia Organisation.
The primary goal is to pitch the national team in an exhibition game during the World Cup to showcase the power of sport in bringing about positive social change.
“The majority of the team are young women with a disability who have been rescued from human trafficking,” CNVLD Secretary Christopher Minko told The Post.
American Patrick Russel, a long time resident of Phnom Penh who carries a childhood hearing disability himself, has been entrusted with the task of training the team. “The players are excited by this fresh sporting opportunity. They are hard at work and training is in full swing ahead of their international debut,” added Minko.
Laos confirm their entry
Meanwhile, the local organising committee of the World Cup received confirmation from Vientiane of Laos’ participation for the first time in the standing volleyball tournament. Laos is only the second ASEAN member apart from hosts Cambodia to take part in the World Cup.
“We are exceptionally proud and excited to have Laos with us,” a statement from the organising committee said.
The CNVLD is also working in close cooperation with Laos on a regional wheelchair racing programme. As Cambodia’s leading organisation for athletes with a disability having already staged two WOVD World Cups in 2007 and 2009, the CNVLD is planning to invite racers from Laos for the proposed International Wheelchair event to be scheduled during the 2011-12 racing season.