Pass It Back: Kampuchea Balopp in Laos

From Sunday July 12th to July 25th Kampuchea Balopp (KB) will be fortunate to have three of its Coach-Educators (Dul Khemrin, Tho Khemera and Reth Ra) and Communication Manager Steve Noble travel to Laos to take part in the inaugural training session of the Pass It Back program.

Pass It Back (PIB) is an innovative program using rugby to equip children and young people in a Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities. The project is an ambitious sports project to grow the game of rugby; ChildFund Australia, Women Win and the Asian Rugby Football Union have come together in a unique collaboration to take forward 3 years of existing Rugby for Development experience in the Lao PDR and targeting two of the world’s biggest sporting events in Asia; the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

Kampuchea Balopp has focused its grassroots work and youth development through sport in Cambodia and the PIB program mirrors the core values of what KB believes in and teaches to its youth. “With a population of more than 1 billion under the age of 24 (50 per cent of the total population), the Lao PDR, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have a young population that that need to be equipped with the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to address poverty, inequality, and to drive positive change across their communities.” (Pass It Back website).

The intensive two week program will enable our Cambodian coaches to interact and engage with coaches from Laos and Vietnam as the Pass It Back Coaches will be equipped with the tools to act as role models in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and be better equipped to deliver rugby, first aid, life-skills and safeguarding rugby for development activities.

Steve Noble, Communication Manager for Kampuchea Balopp, hopes that the Cambodian coaches will take away improved knowledge to build on their two years of coaching and training experience and help build integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect for each other and the kids we train with our school and NGO partners. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to be able to share their experiences with new coaches from Laos and Vietnam and build on their own development.” “We love the ambition of the Pass It Back Program but having core partners of good caliber involved such as Women Win, ChildFund and the co-operation and backing of Rugby Asia gives the whole program great legitimacy and hopefully build a legacy towards and beyond Japan hosting the first rugby world cup to be held on the continent in 2019.

The target for Pass It Back is to have trained 3600 players, 40 coaches and have 180 (90 male and 90 female) teams which is fantastic and promotes gender equality fantastically well which again echoes the work of Kampuchea Balopp.” It’s an honour for Kampuchea Balopp to be involved and as the only representative from Cambodia involved in the program we are grateful for the invitation and thanks to ChildFund Cambodia for their support which has made KB’s participation possible.

The Pass It Back facebook page said “Training will be led by a team of trainers from ChildFund Australia, Women Win , ARFU (Asia Rugby), Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (香港欖球總會), Japan Rugby Football Union, Lao Red Cross and the Lao Rugby Federation. The event will also be joined by friends from Kampuchea Balopp, the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports, the Vietnamese Youth Union and the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.” See the recent press from the Khmer Times, Phnom Penh Post and Rugby United.


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