Why Rugby

I like to think I play rugby as it should be played – there are no yellow or red cards in my collection – but I cannot say I’m an angel. – Jonny Wilkinson

Rugby is like no other sport. It is not great, it is not a past-time, it is a brief, awe-inspiring conflagration where no one man is a hero. The essence of rugby is the team. The honor and skills inherent in working as a team are some of the best that can be taught to children.

Given that sports are used around the world for education, socializing and peace building, Kampuchea Balopp sought to use those established methodologies with rugby as the tool. Our team has years of experience playing and coaching rugby and Cambodia has been a part of the International Rugby Board (IRB) since 2006 as an Associate Member. Together, with Cambodia’s need for the development of future rugby players, makes Kampuchea Balopp’s mission two fold.

Where other sports highlight the individual, rugby is about the team. For without teammates a player has no chance of scoring a try. Without teammates a player has no one to pass the ball to, no one to enter a scrum with, no one to lift him or her up. Hooliganism and nonsense are not part of the game nor the culture of the sport, but of course a good sense of humor is always encouraged, instead an honorable and responsible attitude is promoted.

“In our country, true teams rarely exist . . . social barriers and personal ambitions have reduced athletes to dissolute cliques or individuals thrown together for mutual profit . . . Yet these rugby players. with their muddied, cracked bodies, are struggling to hold onto a sense of humanity that we in America have lost and are unlikely to regain. The game may only be to move a ball forward on a dirt field, but the task can be accomplished with an unshackled joy and its memories will be a permanent delight. The women and men who play on that rugby field are more alive than too many of us will ever be. The foolish emptiness we think we perceive in their existence is only our own.” – Victor Cahn