ISF Football Programme 2019 Year in Review
ISF’s award-winning grassroots Football Programme strives to impart education through the power of football for good. Using a curriculum developed in partnership with Coaches Across Continents (CAC), our coaches use part of each training session to impart social impact lessons. They cover such locally-relevant topics as gender equality, substance abuse and non-violent conflict resolution. As in every year, we focused on expanding our services outside of our institutions’ walls to promote positive sport across Cambodia. Some of our highlights this year are below. Read on for some of the Football Programme’s proudest moments.
- ISF received the ‘Best Grassroots Football Project Award from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
- FIFA Legend, Steve McManaman, visited ISF campuses, football pitch, and surrounding communities to share encouragement, support and football lessons over a two-day ambassadorship with FIFA Foundation
- 500 children are benefitting from 480 outreach sessions focused on relevant social issues with support from UEFA
- 20 coaches from poor rural areas who attended UEFA-aided training will receive ongoing support from ISF
- Goldman Sachs Gives Girls Tournament increased access to sport for nearly 400 girls and young women
- ISF hosted three all-abilities events throughout the year for over 200 disabled players and those living with HIV
- In December 2019, our Deaf / Hearing Impaired Tournament drew 204 players across 17 teams, including five female teams
All Abilities Tournament
We started off the year with our annual All Abilities Tournament. In February over 200 players showed their skills at the ISF Sports Ground. This inclusive football event, offers disabled youth a rare opportunity to play competitive sport. Our Football Programme reaches 3,500 children overall. 8.5% of which are players who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, wheelchair users, intellectually disabled and players living with HIV. Activities like these are a part of the FIFA Foundation Community Programme. We thank them for their support.
Goldman Sachs Gives – ISF Girls Tournament 2019
Also in February, over 360 young female players from provinces across Cambodia competed in ISF’s 10th annual Goldman Sachs Gives Girls’ Tournament. They spent a day focused on celebrating women’s inclusion in sport. Before ISF started running this annual event, there were no official organised opportunities for girls to play football in Cambodia. Since the programme’s inception, ISF’s provision of football for female players has grown from 48 players in 2008 to over 1,600 in 2019 and we now employ four female coaches. Since 2009, the Girls’ Tournament has grown from 13 to 30 teams in 2019. Seeing high interest and participation, we expanded the event to include the U18 division for the very first time in that year.
Social Impact Football Pilot Project
In March 2019, ISF launched a pilot outreach project, with support from UEFA Foundation for children, to empower coaches in poor rural areas. We selected 20 coaches from such areas that lack sports infrastructure and expertise to receive ongoing support from ISF. Over the course of the project, these coaches will run 480 outreach sessions to provide access to sport and learning to disadvantaged children across Cambodia. 500 children are the direct beneficiaries of this project, and we expect there will be up to 3,000 indirect ones.
Ian Thompson Memorial ISF Boys’ Tournament 2019
In March, almost 500 young Cambodian football players competed in the 12th annual ISF Boys’ Tournament. Some teams traveled up to seven hours each way to vie for the prize. ISF partnered with the Ian Thompson Memorial for the 6th year in a row, to run the Boys’ Tournament for Under 10 and Under 14 players. This national tournament provides players with an opportunity to travel outside their immediate environment and build community through interaction with peers from all across the country.
ISF Wins the AFC 2019 Best Grassroots Football Project Award
We were delighted to accept the 2019 Best Grassroots Football Project award from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). ISF received the 2019 Best Grassroots Project award for our efforts to spread the positive aspects of football. A goal of the Football Programme is to create an ever-expanding web of progress, where coaches that we train, influence other coaches. Thereby spreading our message of inclusion and healthy life choices.
ISF Football Festival 2019
Every year for the past seven, ISF Football Programme team members visit a different rural province. They give sporting opportunities to children who usually lack them. This year they traveled to Phnom Prek. This district in Battambang province is located 10 hours north-west of Cambodia’s capital. Over two days, 290 children enjoyed packed full of football, fun and social impact. While the children enjoyed their time on the pitch, three ISF coaches led 25 teachers and principals through a bespoke social impact curriculum. The lessons, created in partnership with Coaches Across Continents (CAC), highlight ‘Purposeful Play’ in addressing key social issues. Find out what one pareticipant, primary school principle Vorn Savy thought of his training here.
Read more about the 2019 Football Festival.
FIFA Legend Steve McManaman Visits ISF
In late September, ISF was honoured to welcome FIFA Foundation for a two-day visit. Along with several representatives, we received a special guest – former Liverpool player and FIFA Legend, Steve McManaman. The delegation toured our pitch at ISF Sports Ground, Chbar Ampov campus, and the poor urban communities that house our students. As he left Cambodia, McManaman’s final thoughts were:
2019 gave us many reasons to celebrate and take pride in the work we do. We look forward to continuing our community outreach projects and spreading impactful social lessons in the new year. Read about the accomplishments of our Education Programme in 2019 here.