On the weekend of May 16-18, the Hong Kong Cricket Club Old Boys assembled a squad the “Aberdeen Angels” who take a yearly rugby pilgrimage and visit mainly other South East Asian countries for a old school rugby tour and this year Phnom Penh, Cambodia was their destination of choice.
With the touring party consisting close to 30 squad members, Kampuchea Balopp had arranged a local Kampuchea Barbarians team to take on the visiting Angels for a Old Boys game on Saturday afternoon. Simultaneously, the Saigon Dirty Geckos Old Boys had inquired about visiting and a 3 way mini Old Boys tournament dubbed “The Battle of the Old Boys” had been arranged.
On the Saturday morning, Kampuchea Balopp arranged for a training session of 30 kids under our program from “Our Home” and Aspeca to be mentored by the Aberdeen Angels. Fortunately for the kids, in midst of the Angels touring party was the recently named Youth Coach of the Year for Hong Kong, Alex Tarleton.
With his booming voice and mix of fun activities and skill training the kids (and the Old Boys) were put through their paces in the morning heat but all the while with a smile on their faces. After a series of drills and group activities, from which the kids and our Kampuchea Balopp coaches benefited greatly, the Aberdeen Angels donated shirts & rugby balls to the all the kids involved. In addition the guys had brought over a massive collection of shirts, socks, shorts, protective gear, rugby balls and more for Kampuchea Balopp to distribute in our program which we are hugely grateful for.
In the afternoon, the National Defense Stadium (Army Field) hosted the “Battle of the Old Boys” and with some last minute adjustment of the program the Saigon Dirty Geckos merged with the Kampuchea Barbarians and played the HKCC Aberdeen Angels in 4 x 15 minute quarters.
In a closely contested game played in the right spirit and intensity the Kampuchea/Saigon Baabaas prevailed but really, rugby was the winner.