Hockey is a game in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent’s goal using a hockey stick. With its speed and its frequent physical contact, hockey has become one of the most popular sports across the globe. And Cambodia has just joined in the trend.
Phnom Penh Field Hockey Team brought the first club level field hockey tournament at International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) sports field on March 16, featuring five participating teams – three from Cambodia, 2 from neighbouring Thailand.
The Hockey tournament was hosted with the main purpose of encouraging more Cambodia youths to be involved more actively in sports, build more friendship among people from different countries as well as exchange cultures among different teams.
Under the hot summer sun last Saturday, the spectacular mixed teams from PSE School Cambodia, FBT Cambodia, Bangkok Inter Thailand and RBSC Thailand battled against each other for the trophy.
The Phnom Penh Hockey, led by Captain Rene, won three of the four games. Bangkok Inter finished second, narrowly edging out FBT Cambodia. RBSC finished fourth, with PSE in fifth place.
The blazing heat of the sun didn’t put off the spirit of the game; if anything, it made the game much more intense.
Sovanna, one of the participants, explained that hockey is usually seen being played on ice and rarely on artificial grass.
“It’s very unique, what we have here and I also find it very interesting as every team battled on the green grass so fiercely.”
Sovnna also emphasised how the sport has brought lots of benefits to Cambodian youth. “Playing sport can be perceived as a fun exercise that can help improve the overall health including physical health and mental health, too. For that reason, I personally feel so excited when I come and witness many young Cambodia youth spare their time to be involved to sports such as this.”
Having an opportunity to play and bond with foreign players was also a positive experience for Cambodian teams. Bros Oudom, one of the sport enthusiasts who watched the event, said seeing hockey being played by Cambodians and Thais was a proof of the strong relationship between the two countries.
The international tournament was officially opened by British Ambassador, Tina Redshaw, and HRH Prince Buddhapong. Pattaya Printspace sponsored the tournament.