Project #2520

Cambodian Disability Sports Development

by Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled)

CNVLD Congratulates H.E Ith Sam Heng on Banning

Cambodian Miss Landmine Beauty Pageant

Consistent with its publicly stated position over the past two years, the CNVLD congratulates H.E Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation on the banning of the Cambodian Miss Landmine pageant in the interests of promoting the dignity of the PWDs of Cambodia.

MOSVY issued a press release last week stating that “The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation does not support the Miss Landmine contest…and would like the program’s organiser to halt all activity immediately in order to protect the honour and dignity of the disabled Cambodians especially women.” The ban on the contest came into effect on Sunday 2nd August.

Despite a public outcry by the organisers and claims of strong international support, MOSAVY has refused to change its position and has also prohibited the organisers from utilising provincial MOSVY offices to meet with the contestants in order to provide cash payments claimed to amount to $200 each.

In response to the first proposed Miss Landmine contest in 2008, the CNVLD publicly stated its strong opposition to the pageant and maintains its position in 2009. CNVLD Secretary General Chris Minko recently elaborated the organisation’s long-term position, “Over the last 10 years, the CNVLD has successfully demonstrated through the unique power of sport that PWDs can become effective, respected, active, proud and contributing members of society who can act as inspirational role models, not only for other PWDs but for the population at large. Beauty pageants of all descriptions merely serve to objectify and denigrate the participants for the benefit of a deeply unsettling voyeurism and any attempt to link the Miss Landmine contest with successful campaigning against the global scourge of landmines is an insult to victims, survivors and committed activists alike.”

Minko also emphasised the role of women in the CNVLD’s sports programmes which enjoy sponsorship by one of the world’s largest corporations, “The ANZ Royal CNVLD Wheelie Grand Prix Battambang Women’s Racing Team, along with the women athletes integrated into racing teams around Cambodia, are a perfect example of how Cambodian women with a disability can successfully effect the transition from being isolated and feeling outcast to becoming embraced and celebrated by their communities and the nation for their dedication, commitment and success through their sporting achievements. The level of sustainable social and economic integration which result from participation by women with a disability in sports programmes is unprecedented as is the impact on the raising of positive awareness on the issues of landmines and disability.”

After more nearly a decade of the National Volleyball League (Disabled) and with the Cambodian National Team currently World #3 after the 2007 WOVD Cambodia Volleyball World Cup, the athletes with a disability of Cambodia now enjoy an elevated status as Cambodia’s sporting heroes, recognised, acknowledged and a source of great pride for the majority of Cambodian citizens.

With the advent of naming rights sponsorship of the National Volleyball League by Cellcard, Cambodia’s leading telecommunications company, along with the appearance by the National Volleyball Team in recent Cellcard TV ads, the CNVLD has pioneered the promotion of disability rights and anti-landmine campaigning with dignity, pride and self-esteem, in keeping with Cambodian cultural norms.

The CNVLD strongly opposes any efforts by individuals or organisations sponsored by foreign governments to impose esoteric social experiments on Cambodian women with a disability, and fully supports and congratulates H.E Ith Sam Heng and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation to permanently ban the Miss Landmine contest.

The CNVLD and the Athletes with a Disability of Cambodia:

Standing Up for the Rights and Dignity of Women PWDs

Inspirational National Volleyball Team Coach Christian Zepp, who led Cambodia’s sporting heroes to World #3 in the 2007 WOVD Cambodia Standing Volleyball World Cup, will swim 50km in 50 hours on 14-16 August to raise sponsorship for the Pailin Frechen Lions 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League team.

Stadt Frechen, Christian Zepp’s hometown in Germany is proud to possess one of the oldest and best maintained swimming pools in the country and in 2008, Christian swam an amazing 40.7km in a competition designed to save the historic sports facility. His cash prize for winning the 2008 event was presented by the Mayor of Stadt Frechen who increased the amount in recognition of Christian donating his award to sponsor the Pailin Frechen Lions volleyball team.

In 2009, Christian hopes to smash his previous record by swimming a mind-boggling 50km in just 50 hours to ensure the Pailin Frechen Lions continue to Stand Up in the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League.

Revered by Cambodians for his outstanding contribution to the National Volleyball Team during the 2007 WOVD Cambodia Standing Volleyball World Cup, Christian has called for all citizens of Frechen to sponsor him for any amount they can afford in his efforts to support the athletes with a disability from Pailin, one of the most landmine affected areas of Cambodia. The CNVLD requests the good citizens of Frechen to Stand Up alongside their heroic son in his outstanding efforts for the Athletes with a Disability of Cambodia and looks forward to welcoming Herr Zepp back to Phnom Penh in October 2009.

Christian Zepp – A Sporting Hero Standing Up for the Athletes with a Disability of Cambodia

Cellcard TV Ad Featuring CNVLD Athletes Posted on You Tube

In a breakthrough for the integration of Cambodian disability sport, the new Cellcard TV advertisement featuring the Cambodian National Standing Volleyball team has now been posted on YouTube.

Watch the New Cellcard Ad on YouTube

The CNVLD National Volleyball League
The CNVLD National Volleyball League

Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled) Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League – 1st Round Report 6-time Champions Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons scorched 2008 Champions Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys off the court 2-0 in the Opening Ceremony Match of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League at the National Olympic Stadium on July 24.

H.E Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation presided over the Opening Ceremony of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League, where he congratulated the athletes for building pride for the PWDs of Cambodia. Mr Kay Lot, Cellcard Chief Operating Officer, also spoke at the event, in its first year of prestigious sponsorship from Cellcard, reiterating the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Broadcast live on CTN TV, sports fans around the nation who couldn’t make it the stadium tuned in to witness two of the most established teams in Cambodian volleyball fire up their seasons. A sluggish opening set beset with nerves saw star Kouprey athlete Hong Sarin twist an ankle early on leaving a gaping defensive hole. The Dragons fiery response was led by national team athlete Cheam Panh who caught quick attention with his superior fitness allowing young athletes Ni Lida and Thea Vanna to hammer the points home at the net to claim an easy first set scalp.

The Koupreys regrouped and bucked in the second set with 58 year old Koupreys Captain Cha Hok consistently setting up national team athlete Yem Bunthoeun for furious spikes which briefly unnerved the famously solid Dragons. Dragons Coach Kim Horn rallied his team, substituting Chet Sobear in a defensive shore up. He then set high ball after high ball for Ni Lida and Thea Vanna to clinch the second set and at 2-0 the first victory of the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League.

The Dragons, still simmering from their comprehensive defeat at the hooves of the Koupreys at the 2008 Grand Finals, celebrated in a suitable style at overcoming the first hurdle of their season against a dejected Kompong Speu team.

H.E Ith Sam Heng joined the court to greet and congratulate the athletes from Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys and Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons in what has become an honoured tradition over the nine consecutive years of the National Volleyball League.

A full programme of eleven Saturday matches saw all ten teams in action. Over the course of the day, a burning warning was served to the dominant teams by mid-table teams rejuvenated by an influx of younger, fitter athletes training under highly motivated coaches.

Kompong Speu Global Giving Scorpions Coach and national team athlete Pen Sarath put on a mesmerising display of skill to easily be player of the weekend. His leadership over a tightly organised team coupled with acrobatic defence and unstoppable scoring ability all with a huge grin saw the Scorpions sting their way to 2 straight wins against Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins and Pailin Frechen Lions.

However, in a re-run of the 2008 National Volleyball League 3rd Place Play Off, the Scorpions slipped at 1-1 and got caught in the claws of the Siem Reap Globe Magazine Eagles who snatched the closest set of the entire first round to win 2-1.

The Eagles look like one of the hottest prospects for championship honours after their Saturday performances thanks to a truly fearsome team line-up. National team captain Cheam Channdy’s experience, point-scoring ability, competitiveness and above all his team motivation skills, have remained a bed-rock foundation from which awesome new young athlete Prep Atit and the youngest national team athlete Choem Kong wreaked havoc on the opposition. This leaves the Eagles an impressive 3 for 3 and in 2nd place overall after also beating the luckless Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys and Prey Veng Kingmaker Cobras later in the day.

The newest team in the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League, Kompong Cham Bartu Bulls, provided the upset of the weekend with a comprehensive 2-0 thrashing of Prey Veng Kingmaker Cobras. Star national team spiker Sang Veasna, in his first ever coaching role with the newly formed Bulls, displayed immense maturity over a skilled team who were having the most fun of anyone on the stadium. The Bulls’ swift rampage over the Cobras drew huge cheers of support from the other teams leaving Veasna unable to control the grins.

It was a harder lesson for the Bulls though at the claws of the Battambang MOSVY Tigers, one of the mid-table teams threatening the big boys. Tigers Coach Se Pha has built young new athletes into an experienced framework and after beating the Kompong Cham Bartu Bulls 2-0, they went on to sink the Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins 2-0 to sit comfortably in fourth.

It was a balanced opening also for the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons, undoubtedly one of the top tips for a high-placed finish having the youngest athletes of any team. Falcons Coach Meas Sabon unveiled new athlete Meav Mouen, whose youth, height, athleticism and ability to control the ball scorched a presence onto the court which is sure to be felt again by oppositions through the season. A comfortable victory over the emerging Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins left the Falcons in fifth after they put on an impressive show to narrowly lose out to the Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons.

With 2008 National League Champions Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys effectively out of the championship title running after two consecutive defeats, Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons and Siem Reap Globe Eagles top the table after the first round. There’s no resting on the laurels yet though with impressive performances from Kompong Speu Global Giving Scorpions, Battambang MOSVY Tigers, ISPP Templestowe Falcons and underdogs Kompong Cham Bartu Bulls all showing they intend to fight to stay in contention for the prestigious title of 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League Champions.

The first round of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League was also the most professional ever hosted thanks to the dedication and assistance of the 30 volunteer staff from Digital Divide Data and ANZ Royal Bank who continued to ensure that the national league meets technical world standards.

The CNVLD sincerely thanks H.E Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation for presiding over the Opening Ceremony of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League and for the long-term support of MOSVY.

The CNVLD wishes to thank Cellcard, and team sponsors ANZ Royal Bank, Kingmaker, CTN, Globe Magazine, ISPP / Templestowe College, Bartu, Frechen, Global Giving and Nike Changmakers for their support for the athletes with a disability of Cambodia.

The CNVLD also thanks R.O Water for their in-kind sponsorship of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League, Dr Elise Reid CNVLD Doctor and Sophie Smith CNVLD Sports Education Advisor for their outstanding contributions.

Round 2 of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League will be played on Saturday 22 – Sunday 23rd August, 2pm-8pm at the National Olympic Stadium. ENTRY IS FREE.

Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League: The Most Professional Sports League in Cambodia

All Photos by: Luke Duggleby 2009

the 2009 TCCC group getting warmed up for the trip to Cambodia
the 2009 TCCC group getting warmed up for the trip to Cambodia

Templestowe College Stand Up Again in 2009 The students of Templestowe College Melbourne have Stood Up again to raise their joint sponsorship of the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons volleyball team for the Falcons Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League campaign.

Templestowe College, together with the International School Phnom Penh (ISPP) are at the forefront of the CNVLD Education Programme having jointly sponsored the Falcons and conducted annual study visits to Cambodia since 2005.

With the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons hard in training and the opening of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League only a week away, the CNVLD spoke with Julie Ramsey, the organiser of the Templestowe College Community Challenge in Cambodia “Walking in Another’s Shoes” programme, about the 2009 fundraising activities and trip to Cambodia.

Julie Ramsey, thanks very much for speaking with the CNVLD.

Can you tell us about the fundraising activities the students have been undertaking this year in support of the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons? • The students will continue to sell chocolates throughout the year as a fundraiser both from within the college and out in the wider community as this helps towards advertising the Templestowe College Community Challenge in Cambodia (TCCCC 09).

• The students set up and assisted in the coordination of the College parent and teacher evening and the College Council made a donation to the 2009 TCCCC. • The students coordinated a Movie Fundraiser selling tickets for “Harry Potter & the Half- Blood Prince” opening night. • The students collected second hand clothing and sold the items at a local market.

How has this translated into an awareness at (and outside) the school of the Falcons team and Disability Sport in Cambodia? As most of the fundraising happens outside the college we take a collection of posters advertising our relationship with CNVLD including photos for our games at ISPP and visits to the National Volleyball League at the Olympic Stadium Phnom Penh. The students attend 6 two-hour tutorials learning about Cambodia, CNVLD, ISPP, Landmines and AusAID.

What were the reactions of the last group of students to their visit to Cambodia and what impact do you think it has had on their outlook / studies / ambitions and those of their peers? The impact of our previous Challenge has had a huge impact as 4 students from the 2008 Challenge are returning to Cambodia as mentors to the other 5 new members of the 2009 Team.

The students always return “fired” up for their education including future studies, relationships with family and place in community and society. Their enthusiasm and respect for life increases tenfold, their desire to make a difference is transferred into their everyday life.

We watched the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons train a few weeks ago and they looked very fit and ready to mount a strong challenge at the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League. What are Templestowe’s hopes for their team’s performances this year?

We’re sure the Falcons will put on their best ever performance in this years national league. Our student team visiting Cambodia is about:

Learning about others from a totally different community and preparing to lend a hand to complete strangers Taking the time to making a difference in others lives LEARN, ACT, & BE Will Templestowe College visit Cambodia again in 2009 and what do you plan to do and hope to achieve ? The 2009 Templestowe College Community Challenge in Cambodia comprises nine Year 11 students and three staff. This is the fifth consecutive year that a group of students has taken up the challenge to work and visit Cambodia.

The intention is to continue our partnership with the International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, plus English conversation classes with the Don Bosco Foundation. As well we aim to maintain sponsorship of our team, the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons and their families as part of CNVLD Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled). Templestowe College and ISPP continue to work together to help sponsor this Team in Cambodia.

The 2005 Challenge involved re-building and beautifying the playground for children at the Kien Khleng National Rehabilitation Centre. An Aussie Working Bee was conducted by the 2006 Challenge and resulted in new playground equipment being installed at the Kien Kaleng National Rehabilitation Centre.

The Community Project for 2007 Challenge was to work at the 2007 WOVD Cambodia Standing Volleyball World Cup in Phnom Penh. It was the first time such a sporting event was held in a developing country like Cambodia.

The Community Project for the 2008 Challenge is to organize and conduct English conversation classes for Training Teachers from Don Bosco Schools and for Community Outreach and Youth Workers for the Don Bosco Youth Training Centre from across Cambodia.

The 2009 Challenge is to continue with our sponsorship of the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons and their families as part of CNVLD Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled). Templestowe College and the CNVLD recognise the importance of using sport as the bridge between physical rehabilitation and social integration including a betterment of the individual’s socio economic circumstances through restored selfesteem and the positive consequences thereof. Over 70 % of the athletes participating in the annual program are the survivors of landmine accidents.

We also aim to continue the ongoing relationship with we have with ISPP. We will be continuing to conduct conversation classes for local senior students from the Don Bosco TAFE College. These classes are conducted at the Don Bosco Youth Training Center in Kep, a small fishing village about 200 km south of Phnom Penh.

The Don Bosco Centres primarily offer support for poor young people who have no opportunity to further their education. Through skills training the Centre aims to prepare the young people to join the blue collar work force of Cambodia. Young people are helped to prepare for the life ahead as caring members of their family and as honestcitizens of the country. This is a wonderful opportunity for our Templestowe College students to share their skills and support other young people in a developing country with their future education.

TCCCC offers college students a firsthand experience to live, to learn, and to work in a community very different from their own. This experience will help them develop a unique link with a community and school from a significantly different environment and in turn will help them inspire other students to become motivated to continue the challenge and aspire to be actively involved with the project in future years.

Julie Ramsey, thanks very much for talking with the CNVLD and we look forward to welcoming the TCCCC 09 team to Cambodia in September.

Read the July 2008 interview with Templestowe College Junior School Principal Andrew Minko

The CNVLD wishes to thank Templestowe College for their ongoing outstanding commitment to the Athletes with a Disability of Cambodia.

As a result of their work, the CNVLD is proud to announce the nomination of Templestowe College for the category of Best Best Educational Institution for the CNVLD 2009 Disability Awards. The awards will be presented by H.E Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation at the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League Grand Finals on Froday October 16 2009.

2009 TCCC pre trip planning session
2009 TCCC pre trip planning session

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Organization Information

Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled)

Location: Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Website: http:/​/​
Cambodian National Volleyball League (Disabled)
Project Leader:
Christopher Minko
Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Cambodia

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