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Youngsters ready for Football for Friendship

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Signing of partnership agreement for 2015–2018 between Gazprom and the International Federation of Association Football. en.kremlin.ru/CC0

Sokheng Sengkea and Sok Makara, the selected young ambassadors from Cambodia will be on their way to Russia on June 8th to participate in the 6th Gazprom Football for Friendship International Programme. There, they will be joined by kids from over 210 countries around the world, in Moscow.

Sengkea, 12, selected in the role of a midfielder will be a part of the 32 International Teams of Friendship that play against each other in the Gazprom Football for Friendship International Championship. The young footballer will be a part of the “Angel Shark” team and will undergo a three-day training camp in Moscow.

The training camp is scheduled for the young ambassadors to get used to the playing conditions and get ample practice with their team, before the start of the championship.

Each International Team of Friendship will be trained by 14-16 year old young coaches from different countries. The young footballers will also participate in workshops and sessions, conducted by renowned celebrities.

Sengkea, who hails from Phnom Penh, started playing football at the age of 5. He has participated in football tournaments across the country and has played a pivotal role in getting his team to win numerous Under-10 and Under-12 Tournaments. He has also been awarded Best Player and Best Shooter on many occasions and has also been the top goal scorer for some tournaments. He currently plays for the ISF Football Academy, and dreams to play for the Cambodian National team in the future. A Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo fan, the young midfielder believes it is important to promote friendship, equality and peace because he believes that we need each of these three things to brighten our world.

At the F4F Programme, Sengkea will be accompanied by 12-year old Sok Makara, who will act as a young journalist and cover all the local and global activities of the program as part of the International Children’s Press Center. The Press Centre acts as hub for the young journalists who gather information, make reports, write news articles and prepare materials on the initiatives implemented as part of the Programme.

Makara is a football enthusiast who also hails from Phnom Penh. Born in Kampong Speu Province, Makara currently resides with his uncle and aunt. He developed an interest in football through his uncle and aunt, who used to play in their free time. With the help of his uncle, Makara joined football training at a young age. An avid supporter of FC Barcelona, his favourite player is Neymar Jr.

Sengkea and Makara will also participate in the Sixth Football for Friendship International Children’s Forum in Russia, which will provide the youngsters an opportunity to meet their peers from other countries, share their experiences, and discuss with famous footballers and journalists on how to promote key values of the F4F Programme around the world.

The International Children’s F4F Forum will be participated by famous sportsmen, journalists, and public figures who support the project and provide their thoughts and inspiration to the young athletes.

The young ambassadors will also participate in the Nine Values School programme, where they will be taught about the 9 key values of the F4F programme (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour) under the guidance of young coaches and the supervision of famous players.

This year, the F4F programme has expanded to 211 countries and regions. Cambodia participate in the programme for the first time. The sixth season of the F4F programme will conclude with a visit by the participating children to the opening ceremony and the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

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