Proof of Development Success: Indochine Cup

The newly formed Phnom Penh Social Rugby Club (Shining Rahus) which is a merger of 2 clubs and the social touch rugby side in Phnom Penh completed a successful tournament debut at the Indochine Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Saturday 23rd May which included staff and volunteers of Kampuchea Balopp and some female and male players from partner organization PSE.

The PPSRC Rahus sent a Men’s Tens Contact rugby team and mixed gender touch rugby side to compete in the annual event which includes sides from Hanoi (Dragons), HCMC (Saigon Geckos) and debutants Myanmar Dragons. Laos is also part of the tournament but was absent this year.

The Rahus teams had been training intensely for about 6-8 weeks leading up to the trip to Vietnam and with the support of Kampuchea Balopp who train the PSE ladies team it was suggested 4 selected female players would join the touch rugby team while the Rahus also found sponsorship to accommodate for 3 Khmer male players which included Kampuchea Balopp coach Khemara Tho and PSE players Ratana Pich and Ly Heang. Communication Manager Steve Noble was also part of the touring squad.

It was the first time the three selected Kampuchea Balopp female coached players from PSE Keo Soknov, Chhum Sreyline and Khna Chhorvy, and KB female coach Pheary Run trained in touch rugby and they showed impressive adaptation and skills as well as commitment and were warmly welcomed by the Rahus to join the squad. The male players also successfully trained with the Shining Rahus over the recent months and the entire squad departed in high spirits for the tournament.

It was the first time the female players played in an international touch rugby competition, and ultimately helped guide the Rahus to win the final vs the favorites and hosts Saigon a thrilling final! The Men’s team also did fantastically well to make the final before falling to the Saigon Geckos.

The successful tour resulted in a strong embrace of social inclusion and promoted the values of KB and the Rahus who intend to tour regularly and host games in Phnom Penh promoting the game of rugby for the adult Cambodian and expat player’s whilst co-operating with Kampuchea Balopp. This is the true success for Kampuchea Balopp; as we managed to find a way for our young Cambodian players to encourage their sporting and social development, so that they can continue playing rugby as young adults. With a team of expatriates from various countries (Argentina, United States, South Africa, France, Switzerland, England, Australia etc) and Cambodians it reinforces the spirit of these young Cambodian players and allows them to build a network of colorful friends. This is one of the great strengths of rugby.

All in all it was an excellent trip and opportunity presented to the players made possible by the Rahus their sponsors (Deco and Mad Monkey) and Kampuchea Balopp and further proof that the development work at youth level has rewards in the adult game and women’s rugby in Cambodia through Kampuchea Balopp. We hope this will be the start of a strong partnership between the PPSRC Shining Rahus and Kampuchea Balopp.

For more please see The Phnom Post article and for more photos the Rahus Facebook Gallery

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