Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disabled National Volleyball League in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Disabled Volleyball teams from 10 cities and provinces attended the “2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League” on October 26 at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The 10 volleyball teams from Phnom Penh, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng, Pailin and Kratie are composed of athletes with various disabilities.

The National Disabled Volleyball Tournament was organized by the Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled) (CNVLD) and financially supported by the Cellcard Company in order to promote volleyball as a sport and improved health for the disabled in Cambodia.

Christopher Minko, Secretary General of the Cambodian Disabled National Volleyball League, said that after vigorous competitions of the “2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League” in Phnom Penh, the Siem Reap Globe Magazine Eagles won the competition, receiving the cup and a US$3,000 award; the Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions won second place and received US$2,000; and the Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons won third place and received a total of US$1,000 award.

Minko said that next year will be the tenth anniversary of the CNVLD organizing this tournament in Cambodia. He said that that the main objective of the competition is to promote the rights and health of people with disabilities as well as demonstrate that the disabled are an important contribution to the development and progress of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“We are ten years in organizing the disabled volleyball tournament in Cambodia now. We are very proud to be going to ten years and to be the country’s number one sporting organization in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a personal interview on October 26.

Minko pointed out that CNVLD was established in 2001 in order to promote the people with disability’s health and disabled volleyball in Cambodia. CNVLD now is becoming one of the premier Sports Organizations in Cambodia.

CNVLD has been sending Cambodian teams to attend the Disabled Volleyball World Cup abroad for every year since the first tournament took place in 2005 in Sydney, Australia, where a Cambodian team won seventh place. In 2006 a Cambodian team attended the competition in Slovakia and placed sixth class. A Cambodian team then took first place in South Korea during 2007. In 2008 a Cambodian team won fifth place in Greece.

Minko said that in 2005 and 2007, Cambodia has organized its own world cup competition of the disabled volleyball tournament in Phnom Penh. Cambodian teams also won fourth in 2005 and third in 2007.

“I am happy that the Cambodian disabled volleyball teams [athletes] have now become the strongest volleyball players in Cambodia and placed third in Cambodia’s disabled volleyball world cup in 2007. I believe that they will continue to win other medals and become the best world cup team in future,” Minko said.

Minko added that CNVLD plans to organize the world cup of disabled volleyball for over 20 participating countries from the 15th to 20th December 2009 in Phnom Penh.

He emphasized that due to Cambodian volleyball players’ hard training, talent and playing skills, they will able to win first in this year’s world cup competition in Phnom Penh.

“I want the Cambodian disabled volleyball team to be the champion of the December’s world cup in Phnom Penh. I strongly hope that with their hard works and talent they will win the championship of the world cup in Phnom Penh. I thank all our sponsors very much: Cellcard, ANZ Royal Bank and Cambodiana Hotel, and especially Samdech Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, for his strong support in promoting the disabled volleyball players and disabled peoples’ rights and value in Cambodia,” Minko said.

Chat Saroeurn, 45, is Coach and Representative of the Siem Reap Globe Magazine Eagles from Sieam Reap province. Saroeurn, a former police officer, was handicapped (he lost his right leg) in 1991 when he stepped on anti-personal mine during his mission work in Banteay Meanchey Province.

In 2001, Saroeurn began volleyball training in Siem Reap in order to improve his health as well as raise the value and rights of people with disabilities in Cambodia.

“I am happy and honored as my team has won first place for the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League. To promote the rights and value of people with disabilities in Cambodia I will continue to train hard and attend the disabled volleyball competitions in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

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