540 Youth Join the 2020 Ian Thompson Memorial – ISF Boys’ Tournament
History of the Ian Thompson Memorial – ISF Boys’ Tournament
The tournament has been an annual affair since 2007. Though ISF has partnered with Alistair’s Ian Thompson Memorial for the past 7 years to run it. It used to include only Under-10 and Under-14 players. But due to year-over-year expansion, we featured Under-16s for the first time. It was a pleasure to see all eight grass pitches filled with smiling youth accessing their right to play.
The Ian Thompson Memorial recognises its namesake by partnering with ISF to provide disadvantaged youth with life-changing sporting opportunities. Ian Thompson was a steadfast ISF supporter with a passion for sport. Ian’s son Alistair honours his name by sponsoring this Football Tournament since his passing.
A Vital Day of Play for Disadvantaged Youth
The event is often the highlight of the year for these young children who rarely get the chance to take part in competitive sport. Through participating in competitions, they gain vital skills. They include determination, drive to succeed and resilience when they lose matches.
ISF’s Football Programme works with disadvantaged children who live in communities where poverty, social exclusion and lack of opportunity often lead to harmful behaviours. ISF provides chances for children to access their rights to play and education. We promote healthy life choices, equality and social inclusion while doing so. Our Football Programme offers training and competitions to children and youth of all abilities and genders. We strive to use sport as a tool to teach social impact. Weekly training sessions aim to develop social awareness, employability, leadership and soft-skills.
Reducing Plastic Waste on the Pitch
ISF is transforming the way we run events as part of our commitment to reducing plastic waste. As part of our ever-evolving environmental policy, we use a mix of education and action to make a positive impact on Cambodia’s environment. Our sports facility now features public service announcements at key spots around the pitch. The posters feature Khmer and English text explaining the importance of waste reduction. They urge viewers to refuse single use plastic bags and utensils as well as use reusable containers for food and drinks.
ISF is also working with vendors who provide natural packaging for catered meals. Children enjoyed lunch wrapped in lotus leaves, served with eco friendly bamboo spoons and forks. The Football Programme Team are also now using a plastic free kit for all events. They provide refillable cups for coffee and water in reusable cups to staff and ISF’s invited guests. These containers will be cleaned and reused at each event at ISF Sports Ground going forward.
They Were All Winners
Following an afternoon of thrilling play, six teams emerged victorious. Stepping Stone from Siem Reap was the winner for U10, Otasok Primary School from Battambong for U14 and Somrong Primary School in Phnom Penh for U16. They received a brilliant gold trophy, medals and a prize package for their efforts. Pnom Penh’s Somrong Primary School, DCC from Battambong, and ISF Stung Meanchey took second places respectively. This sense of achievement is immensely satisfying for these children, no matter if they placed or not. Though to Yin Samedy—ISF Football Programme Manager—the day’s true goal is bringing joy to young players. He gushes, “It only takes one day to make more than five hundred children smile together”