Rugby-promoting NGO Kampuchea Balopp (KB) has announced the much anticipated debut of the Cambodian women’s team in the Bangkok International Rugby Tens being held this weekend.
Many of the players in this squad heading to the Bangkok event were part of the Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE) side that took part in an International Sevens tournament held at the same venue four months ago.
The Cambodian squad of 16 is made up of 12 players from PSE, two from Sok Sabay Association and two expatriate players, one French and the other American, both of whom live in Phnom Penh and have been training with the rest of the players in preparation for this tournament.
“We are once again proud to lead this project. Since we started KB, one of our objectives was to ensure that the girls could realise that rugby was not a sport just for boys.
“Of the 14 Cambodian players in this squad, 11 girls discovered rugby with us. It is a great achievement to enable the participation of these players in highly competitive events over a four-month period,” said Jean-Baptiste Suberbie, co-founder of KB.
Head coach Reth Ra added: “Following on from the last International Sevens, we aimed to participate quickly in another event to be able to validate what we’d achieved.
From the 12 players we sent last November, 10 will be there again and six will do so for the first time. The preparation has been of a high quality and we are hoping for positive results.”
The Cambodian side will compete with three teams from Thailand and one from Malaysia in this five-team affair that plays out on the fields of the Patana International School.
And regardless of results, the team of Kampuchea Balopp insists that being involved is itself a victory, and that the main objective of this weekend is not to win games but to give the best image of Cambodian rugby on and off the field.
The team has been jointly sponsored by Phoenix Law Firm, Hirco, and Biel Bienne Rugby Club.