Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exiles make sports donations

Exiles make sports donations

Exiles make sports donations

091021_23
Members of the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club pose with children of the Sunrise Children’s Village on the newly constructed sports court in Takhmau during a visit last year.

Dubai Exiles Rugby Club have made numerous trips to Cambodia to play in the Angkor 10s tournaments and give money to local charity organisations

AS rugby clubs from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond descend upon Phnom Penh this weekend for the ANZ Royal Bank Angkor 10s, many of the city’s pubs and restaurants are preparing for the hordes of tired, battered rugby players, recovering from their bumps and bruises from a hard day on the pitch, and toasting their fellow combatants with a cold beverage for a job well done.

“The social part of rugby, that’s what makes the sport so special,” said Angkor 10s Tournament Co-Chairman Peter Maley. “Play hard, then have a few beers after the game with the opposing team. It’s all good fun.”

Now in its ninth year, the Angkor 10s has gained a reputation for being one of the most popular social rugby tournaments in Asia.

“We always focus on the social stuff, people having a good time during the weekend,” said Maley. “But there’s always some good rugby played, with some pretty decent teams coming every year.”

“We really enjoy coming here,” remarked Tim Lacey of the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club from the United Arab Emirates, who, along with teammate Jim Darbyshire, will be making his sixth visit to the tournament. “Phnom Penh is a fun place to spend the weekend, and the rugby played is pretty decent,”

“Sometimes we even do well on the field,” he added, referring to his club’s success in the Bowl Trophy in last year’s tournament.
But for the Exile players, their annual trip to the Angkor 10s is not just about the rugby games and the parties. It is also about helping the less fortunate.

“When our team first came to Cambodia [in 2004], we were really taken by the country,” notes Lacey. “But we were also affected seeing all the poverty and the challenges that many disadvantaged people and especially disadvantaged kids face here. We wanted to do something, to make a difference each year we came for the tournament.”

The Exiles decided to make a difference through something they were familiar with: sport.

In 2007, the club made an initial contribution toward the construction cost of a new sports court surface at the Sunrise Children’s Village orphanage in Takhmau.

Construction of the facility was completed in 2008, and the multipurpose surface allows the children to play a variety of sports and not be affected by the rainy-season downpours that often flood the facility’s grass fields. In their visit during last year’s Angkor 10s, the Exiles also contributed an additional US$5,000 to Sunrise for the purchase of new sports equipment.

Over the past six years, the team has also made sizeable contributions to other local NGOs serving disadvantaged youth, such as the Indochina Starfish Foundation and M’Lop Tapang in Sihanoukville.

The Exiles have also been steadfast supporters of the Cambodian Federation of Rugby (CFR), donating cash, jerseys, and rugby balls for the Cambodian junior teams.

CFR Vice President Philippe Monnin praised the Exiles for their charitable efforts, along with their generous support of local youth rugby development.

“They have always been a great friend of the Federation,” said Monnin. “Every year they are so generous to us. We value their support.”
Lacey stated this year the Exiles plan to make additional $5,000 donations to the CFR, as well as to Sunrise, Starfish, and M’Lop Tapang.

Although he is not willing to predict how his team will fare in this year’s tournament, Lacey believes the club’s visit to Cambodia will be a success, no matter what happens on the field.

“We believe rugby is a perfect vehicle to do good deeds, and it is an important aspect of our club ethos,” he stated. “Helping others – that’s what makes our club proud.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to