Last Saturday on December 13th 2014, during the weekly training with NGO partner Happy Chandara – “Toutes à l’école” (All in the School), Kampuchea Balopp educators organized a mini-tournament involving six teams of 12 girls.
This tournament had the dual purpose of finalizing two months of rugby training and initiation in which the 72 girls, aged between 13-14 had been working and playing hard to learn and improve their rugby skills and also to determine the levels of groups for the rest of the season.
For an hour and a half, the 6 teams in a upbeat and encouraging atmosphere demonstrated their enthusiasm for the game and relished their their first game situations. It is with great pride and satisfaction that we have seen the girls progress since the establishment of the partnership with Happy Chandara all those months ago.
With great passes, hand offs, sidesteps, support play, tackles, all the basic facets of our beautiful oval ball game these novices played fantastically well and the mini-tournament will serve as a work in progress for our team of coach-educators, with the aim to involve all these girls in competitive rugby sessions and matches with other NGOs and schools in the course of 2015.
We spoke with CHOURN Sreyaun at the end of the session and she said “this mini-tournament made us realize that we are not far from the level to compete against other teams, and it really makes the girls and all of us look forward to be able to participate in real rugby tournaments and represent Happy Chandara.”
Benjamin Coignoux, head of sports activities of the Happy Chandara association added “the girls have understood the values specific to rugby and embraced the solidarity and they had very little time to free themselves from their fears of a contact sport. I was surprised that despite some minor injuries to some girls, their enthusiasm and motivation was not held back in any way, quite the contrary! The rugby activities implemented with Kampuchea Balopp creates a craze with our girls and of the 89 who took part in the introductory sessions two months ago, 73 were enrolled in the training which is fantastic!”
Hopefully the Christmas break will strengthen their desire and will to continue to participate in the rugby sessions and always with great determination, focus, and above all, fun!