The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia took its Olympic Movement awareness programme Sports for All to Rattanakkiri province last week in an effort to integrate urban and rural community students.
For nearly 100 students from Krieng community in the mountainous parts of the province, the three-day sports festival where they freely mixed with 30 athletic students from Phnom Penh was a life changing experience, according to NOCC General Secretary Vath Chamroeun.
“The idea behind this programme is to inculcate sports culture in these remote areas and to help young boys and girls from backward regions to get involved in sports activities,” he said.
“I feel that the programme was a resounding success going by the response from the local communities and by the passion that rural students displayed in learning basics about football, volleyball, basketball, athletics, etc.
“We at the NOCC wanted students from big cities to share their knowledge of technology and sports with their under-privileged counterparts. Over the three days, the interaction produced some amazing results,” he added.
While the rural students displayed their inherent skills in tribal combat and indigenous sports, the urban students were more than happy to share their knowledge of popular games and pass on some useful tips to the locals.
A spot drawing contest with the theme of the Olympic Movement was organised among ethnic students to test their level of comprehension of the organisation, with surprising results, according to the NOCC Secretary. The youngsters combined familiar forest materials in their drawings to depict their ideas of Olympism.
“One student had come up with an idea of a crown using green leaves, while another had drawn a ribbon for a medal with small shoots,” said Vath Chamroeun.
The sports official also noted that the NOCC would “definitely take this programme to other remote areas.”