Half day clinic, half day hat

November 11, 2013
Full photo album. Photos by Dan Friendly, Chanda Cheng, and Andrew Appell

On Sunday, November 3rd, Phnom Penh Ultimate and SWA Ultimate took a break from weekly pickup and league games to host a full day of ultimate frisbee for young and old, girls and guys, new and experienced, khmer and barang players from all over Cambodia and beyond.

In the morning, 140 khmer boys and girls aged 10-18 practiced throwing, defense, stacking, and playing ultimate games with 20 volunteer coaches during a clinic sponsored by Phnom Penh Ultimate. American Peace Corps volunteers Vicki and Derick chaperoned kids from Kompong Cham and Kompong Cham Speu, where their kids have been playing and practicing regularly. Vicki, whose students are all girls, says, “My students come from the Provincial Teacher Training College. After the workshops, they play pickup on a regular basis outside of their school. They even force the male soccer players to share their sports space to make room for ultimate! Also, Sonita, Sina and Sokphal, my three most dedicated players, are super excited to plan a Kampong Cham sand tourney with Amaury and myself. I want to make sure at least these 3 get a chance to participate in big phat. it would be a dream come true.”

Large contingents from the Youth Ultimate Project and the Liger school of Cambodia also joined, and three fields were packed with kids. The kids showed a lot of improvement throughout the day. PPUA hopes they will continue to enjoy learning the sport, share it with their friends, and advance their skills for future clinics and tournaments.

In the afternoon, more barangs showed up and joined the older khmer kids to play in a mini four-team hat tournament. A good time was had by all and while we were sad to wave goodbye to our friends from Kompong Cham, we were also happy they were able to make the long trip.

A 3 hour one way, 6 hour return, plus play a full day of ultimate under the hot Cambodian sun, all in one day, is a lot to undergo. Some of the same kids from Kompong Cham also visited us in May for a mini hat tournament, and this time they came in greater numbers and with a ton of enthusiasm.

On their way out, kids were overheard saying, “I’m tired and have a headache, but can we come back next week??” Another of Derick’s kids said “Thank you, it is my best day!”. About the trip, Derick said, “My kids are loving learning to play. And they’re way excited about this chance to learn more and play against others. Being so rural (location and culturally), they’ve never had the chance to do something like this. Many of the parents are freaking out because ‘it is so far!!!’ To them, Phnom Penh might as well be another whole country.”

Stay tuned on the PPUA website, PPUA Google Groups mailing list or PPUA Facebook page for announcements on future ultimate clinics, which might be held in Kompong Cham, Siem Reap, or Phnom Penh.

You can also contact PPUA Player Development directly if you would like to join our next clinic as a volunteer, or partner with us to put on a clinic with your school. Finally, mark your calendar for our two day hat tournament over International Women’s Day weekend, March 8-9, 2014!

Huge thanks to Flying Bikes 2 for loaning us a couple tents for the day!