It took months of training and sacrifice, but it was all worth it for a team of Cambodian Children’s Fund students, supporters and staff when they crossed the finish at the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap.
Around 47 runners joined Team CCF to take part in the marathon, the largest sporting event in Cambodia, on 3 December. Supporters traveled from afar to be on the start line at Angkor Wat with CCF students, staff, and local supporters.
Sponsorship money raised for CCF by their efforts will go directly towards helping improve the lives of children and families in Cambodia’s most impoverished communities with education and other essential services.
The marathon at the incredible World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat attracted thousands of runners from all over the world. CCF supporters and students ran alongside them, determined to finish.
15 CCF students had trained hard for months to take part in the 10km run as part of Team CCF, mentored by professional coach Derrick Murray.
The aching muscles were forgotten as they were cheered to the finish by spectators and crossed the line with a smile.
They had run with passion, determination, and a strong sense of purpose. With every step, they raised money to support CCF's mission of providing education to more Cambodian children like them.
First student home, Seab Kompheak, 20, had never run before the event.
I am so happy. I practiced every day with my friends or my brother. I called my mum and she was so excited for me and told me to keep trying.
Pheak, who has just started in Grade 12 at Neeson Cripps Academy, now has his sights set on the full 21km next year.
CCF supporters, sponsors and staff competed in the 10km and 21km races. Along the way, they battled the heat, humidity and the odd monkey on the route.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, every kilometer Team CCF ran brought them closer to their own fundraising goals. With every donation, they received the support they needed to make a real impact in the lives of vulnerable children in Cambodia.
“It’s amazing to see all of our supporters from around the world and in Cambodia come together in Siem Reap as Team CCF to run the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon to raise funds for CCF,” said Claudia Turkington, Partnerships and Donor Relations Manager for CCF.
Everyone has done amazing work fundraising with their friends, their families, and their colleagues, and we’re so proud that they are part of the CCF family
Jonathan Cummings, President, APAC, for Landor & Fitch, one of Team CCF sponsors, is a long-term CCF supporter as a child sponsor and member of the Hong Kong-based Panda Paddlers dragon boat racing team, which has been raising money for CCF for more than 10 years.
He traveled from Hong Kong to run the 21km, having run the same distance with CCF students before in the 2016 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon.
“It was a fantastic experience and great to see the students from CCF cross the finish line in their first race,” said Jonathan.
“I hope we can inspire more people to support CCF and get involved in their own way. Maybe Team CCF 2024!”
Chhorn Theara, 17, the fastest female CCF student, hopes to inspire other girls to take up running.
“I feel proud of myself. Running has a lot of benefits like improving your health and making you strong,” said Theara, who also plays frisbee.
Theara said she would keep running and hopes to enter more organized races in the future.
“The work that our students have done over the last three months to train for this race is amazing,” said Claudia Turkington from CCF. “They have gone above and beyond training in the early hours of the morning and all days of the week, and I’m so proud of them for having passed the finish line. They are incredible young people; we can’t wait to see where they go next.”
She also thanked the support of Team CCF sponsors Rose Apple Square, Urban Living Solutions (ULS), and Landor & Fitch.
Ty Chea, Head of Sales with ULS, has been involved with CCF for many years as a donor, child sponsor, and now corporate partner.
“CCF has been dear to my heart for many years. We share the same values in terms of doing good and wanting to support communities, because the core value of ULS is all about community. We build community spaces that nurture people and connect people,” said Ty Chea,
“The work that Cambodian Children's Fund has done for our country and children and the difference that I’ve seen in some kids from where they are now and where they are now, is amazing. In fact, two of our staff come from Cambodian Children’s Fund, Srey Mom and Srey Noeun, so we see the positive impact every day.”
We know that by supporting Cambodian Children’s Fund, you can truly make a difference.
- First CCF male runner in 21km: Geoffrey Lherpiniere
- First CCF female runner in 21km: Lily Taubert-Gallagher
- First CCF male runner in 10km: Nicholas McGrath
- First CCF female runner in 10km: Simone Searle
- First CCF male student: Seab Kompheak
- First CCF female student: Chhorn Theara
- Coach Award Male: Kris Chanra
- Coach Award Female: Nhev Sreynith