During the four-day trip from 23 to 26 September, the Football for Hope team met representatives from the Football Federation of Cambodia, listened to a briefing from Spirit of Soccer officials, chatted with coaches and children on the benefits of the programme and collected reports on FIFA-supported projects relating to the growth strategy of Football for Hope in Asia.
Among the teachers they observed were six who have passed the unique Spirit of Soccer training programme and begun working with children from ten primary schools in the Kosh Krolor, Banan and Moung Russey districts of Battambang province. Some 240 children are already taking part in football/mine risk education sessions each day.
Also on the itinerary was a trip to a school on the outskirts of Pailin where a 60×40-metre field, recently cleared of mines, has been bulldozed, graded and rolled. Goalposts have been erected and three small pitches have been laid where no man would once tread. Some 500 children are expected to compete in an upcoming five-day, five-a-side football camp.
Scotty Lee, the executive director of Spirit of Soccer said: “No child should ever be denied the right to play sport because of landmines. The message is simple: don’t play with landmines, play football. I want to give them the dream.”