Women’s Rugby Training Camp in Kep

Kampuchea Balopp held a very successful second training camp for female rugby players in the coastal town of Kep in March.

The inaugural two day training camp was a big success last year and this year saw 22 female rugby players from the NGO Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE) involved which aimed at improving their fitness, rugby skills and team building while enjoying the coastal sand and sun.

Many of the team were part of the squad that won the national domestic women’s championship last season but also saw the healthy addition of a number of new, young and exciting players.

After a briefing on Friday afternoon and some time on the beach, the squad and coaches enjoyed dinner before watching a screening of the Frapadoc produced film Khmers en Melee which will be screened later in the year. The documentary focused on Kampuchea Balopp and included footage of last years camp which the girls enjoyed and highlighted the work the association is doing.

Saturday saw the group take on a 2 hour hike on a Kep jungle and mountain trail which, despite the warm and rugged conditions, was a great team bonding exercise and allowed some individuals to overcome personal fears and physical challenges. The session was followed by a much needed break on the beach and lunch. The afternoon saw a afternoon session of rugby drills as the group was divided into three groups to work with individual coaches. Passing,tackling, communication, and teamwork all drilled into the session before breaking for the day.

The Sunday morning saw the three groups take each other on in a round robin set of competitive games with the sandy surface offering energy sapping conditions combined with the sunny and warm conditions on the coast. The coaches and a group of visiting French social rugby players then played a game before the final of the two girls teams who battled out a good quality and competitive game with the locals in Kep looking on and some of the kids getting excited and wanting to be involved in the action.

The sessions and level of quality as well as the girls enthusiasm and focus were all exactly what the KB team was looking for in the squad. Most importantly the girls were constantly having fun and enjoyed these temporary surroundings and conditions that the scenic Kep offers.

As the organization looks ahead to the next weekend camp, they hope to expand the group to select from players from other NGO partners and schools such as Sok Sabay, Toutes LÉcole, Lycée Français René Descartes de Phnom Penh and ISPP. Kampuchea Balopp is determined to help grow the game of rugby in Cambodia and determined to get the female teams to play international competition over the coming years

Kampuchea Balopp would like to thank both PSE and Aspeca for making the transport and accommodation available on the weekend!

See also the Khmer Times article that ran after the weekend.

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