The University of Cambodia Introduces Football as a Recreational Sport

By Seng Leap (UC Student and UCSS President)

Sport is a recreational activity that provides many advantages to all people, regardless of their age. Playing sports is very beneficial for the health, because it improves our heart and lung function and also prevents illness. It also makes your body slim for women and strengthens muscle for men. It also relaxes us by releasing stress, especially during team work outs when we shout out loud and gather together with friends.

Playing sports is very crucial for university students. Students will burn out if they do not take the time to enjoy recreational activities. Often, they are loaded with a lot of work and are in between studying and taking exams, so students need to find time to relax.

Regarding health and sports, our lives cannot be successful if we face health problems. According to H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn (President of UC), our life is like the number 1000: number one (1) represents our health, zero (0) for education or knowledge, zero (0) for money, and the other zero (0) for happiness. Therefore, we can say that all the three zeros will not represent any value if they don’t have number one (1). We will not have education, wealth, or happiness if we don’t have good health.

Moreover, playing sports also helps us to build relationships between friends, which is a vital factor for future employment. By playing sports, people spend time with friends for pleasure, release stress and make new friends. After that, people feel fresh which enables them to easily get back to studying and working hard in school. Furthermore, according to the assessment made by the Phnom Penh Post, sports teams are regarded as important elements to consider for universities, particularly those seeking to move up in rank.

In understanding that, the University of Cambodia Student Senate’s (UCSS) fourth mandate created the first ever University of Cambodia Football Club, in order to facilitate student-led sport activities. This club enables students to showcase their talents, thus bringing the university’s reputation up a notch. This particular project was put into the list of UCSS projects for its one year mandate. It is a remarkable project that requires many resources, both financial and human.

The project was initially contemplated in early March 2010, under the leadership of the UCSS officers, with supervision from Dr. Y Ratana, the Director of Academic Foundation Year Department. We made the announcement to all university students. After receiving enough candidates, we made a list of eligible players and sent a project proposal to UC President, Dr. Kao. Once approved, we found a qualified coach with experience playing for the national team.

We conducted a meeting to set a timeframe for training sessions, in addition to placing internal rules into the agenda. We came up with a clear schedule that allows all players to train for four days a week. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, players work on increasing speed because we have to be able to run long distance.

Now, the University of Cambodia Football Team is working permanently. We have sufficient supplies and enough committed players to make a real team. We have an experienced and professional coach. We have also won many games. Now, we plan to enroll for the National Football Championship, which will start in the middle of October.

On behalf of the University of Cambodia Student Senate, and also the management team of the University of Cambodia Football Club, I strongly believe that our football team will prosper and will be victorious in all of our matches. I also hope that more students will get involved in next year’s recruitment process.

I greatly appreciate all of the hard work from our coach and players, who have spent valuable time and dedicated much effort to attend the training sessions. We have won many games because of their commitment. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Dr. Y Ratana, the University of Cambodia, and UCSS officers for helping to facilitate this project.