Three CCF students on scholarships at the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) have been presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to take part in a football competition in Laos

Back in July 2018 life took a turn for six CCF students as they received scholarships to the prestigious International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP). You can read the full story here. The students are thriving and embracing every opportunity that is presented to them, including joining the schools many sports teams.

Three of the students, all girls, joined the ISPP football club and have now been selected to compete in The Mekong River International Schools Association (MRISA) junior football tournament in Laos later this month.

For two of the students, Sophy, 12 and Dara, 11, football is a hobby they only started after joining ISPP. Whereas their fellow CCF teammate Srey Ka, 11, has been practicing her skills ever since taking up football during CCF’s Saturday classes.

“I feel excited, nervous and happy,” said Srey Ka.
“I am nervous because sometimes playing football can hurt when you get kicked in the legs.”

Srey Ka explained that they were selected to play in the tournament in ISPP’s B team. All three girls worked hard to earn their place on the squad, practicing twice a week on ISPP’s lush green playing field: a stark contrast to the dirty environment around the former landfill site of Steung Meanchey where the students live.

“I wanted to join the football club because of MRISA,” explained Sophy.

‘MRISA’ is a tournament in which schools from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Thailand compete. It encourages schools in the region to come together and exchange cultures. The prospect of a competition and interacting with a range of students is what motivated the three girls to start taking football more seriously.

For all three, the tournament in Laos will be the first time they will leave Cambodia. The prospect of travelling on their first ever aeroplane journey has evoked a great sense of excitement.

“We will get better at football and we will get to on an aeroplane for the first time!” Dara explained while smiling from ear-to-ear.

The students are already looking beyond the tournament in Laos, to other sporting opportunities to compete in.

“We signed up to play volleyball, and it is a MRISA competition too,” explained Dara.

Alongside football and volleyball, Sophy is also a keen badminton player, while Srey Ka and Dara are learning to play guitar.

For these three students, the Laos football tournament will act as a springboard for them to explore new sports, discover new skills, experience the thrills of competition, all while making friends and life-long memories.

Alice Brown/ CCF


  • To protect the privacy of our students, all names have been changed.

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