The Cambodia women’s indoor hockey team will have a tune-up game with the Phnom Penh Hockey Club (PPHC) prior to their departure for the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.
The match will be held on Dec 1 starting 4 pm at the Canadian International School (CS) Roller Dome in Koh Pich, according to Zak Garofolo, athletics director at CIS.
Mr Garofolo said that aside from the SEA Games preparation, the friendly match is also aimed at building positive relationships between local and expat athletes and to promote hockey as a sport.
PPHC Manager Rene Botha said they expect a hard fought match.
“Both teams will be showing discipline and respect for each other,” she said.
The PPHC team is expected to be led by Ms Botha and mainstays Serena Colombi, Tom Hesketh, Bill Perger, Wayne Fensham, and Brittany Paige-Barrowcliffe. Most, if not all of them, have international experience.
The Cambodian side will have forward Theab Lina to lead them. She scored all of Cambodia’s two goals against the Pakistanis in a friendly match early this month.
The Cambodia women’s hockey team will be back in the Kingdom Saturday after 45 days of training in Thailand. During their training in Thailand, the Cambodian team played some friendly matches with teams from Thailand and Pakistan.
The Cambodian team performed well, leading coach Asif Maqsood Rana to declare that they are optimistic regarding their chances in the upcoming SEA Games. He said they are aiming to come at least in third place in the regional sports competition.
Aside from the players, the Kingdom will also be represented in the SEA Games by Chhoeung Puthearim, who will be the first Cambodian to officiate in an international indoor hockey competition.
Indoor hockey, which was introduced to Cambodia in the early 2000s, has steadily grown in popularity over the years. The PPHC, which was founded by British national and hockey master Latonya Ball, is among the organisations that are working to promote the sport in the Kingdom.
The PPHC holds regular bi-weekly training sessions and also engages local teams in friendly hockey matches. More and more hockey players and enthusiasts are joining the training sessions. These include not only locals, but also expats from South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Thailand, Canada, Pakistan, India, Germany, the Philippines, France, Norway, Egypt and other countries.
The PPHC has also sent players to compete in international indoor hockey tournaments in Thailand and Vietnam. It also organised several international hockey competitions in Cambodia that drew teams from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The rise of such new facilities as the CIS Roller Dome is also helping showcase and is contributing to the growth of the sport.