On Sunday, 16 December 2018, Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) held a Football Tournament for deaf and hearing impaired players at the ISF Sports Ground, Phnom Penh. This inclusive tournament is one of the few events of it’s kind in Cambodia which offers opportunities for youth with disabilities to play sport competitively.
Currently, ISF’s inclusive Football Programme is the widest-reaching grassroots football programme in the country, reaching almost 4,000 children and integrating more than 350 players with a wide range of disabilities. People with disabilities are often excluded from Cambodian society and rarely have access to education and sport.
Sunday’s tournament saw 216 deaf/hearing impaired players compete, almost 30% of whom were female. Participating in regular training sessions and in tournaments like this offer these marginalised players opportunities to fit in, to feel part of a team and to feel supported. The tournament also hosted activities for players with intellectual disabilities, blind and visually impaired players, players living with HIV and wheelchair users.
In total, between all the matches and activities, over 300 players with disabilities participated in Sunday’s event. Speaking about the event, player 16-year-old Srey Neat* said that feeling included and part of team is important for players with disabilities. “A tournament like this is valuable because it provides me, a deaf player, an opportunity to participate in sport just like other players with normal abilities and an opportunity to work hard as part of a team to win” she explains.
We’d like to thank the The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Dream Asia Foundation, the FIFA Foundation, and all of our other supporters for making events like this event possible. In order to provide opportunities to a wide range of disadvantaged and marginalised children and youth around the country, we also work in partnership with more than 50 other local non-profits, schools and organisations.
Congratulations to all the teams on their first matches of the season and to the two teams from Krousar Thmey that won the finals! The results of the finals on the day are below. For all results from the day click here.
*Names of children under 18 have been changed.