The Globalteer Sports Project is unique in Siem Reap. We use sport as a way of engaging more than 200 children a week in lessons about leadership, teamwork, fair play and social issues that affect boys and girls throughout Cambodia, especially in rural areas. The sports project lets kids play in a safe space, but more importantly provides education and empowerment through lessons taught on the sports field during weekly sports classes, football leagues, and special training.
In the developed world the value of sport and play as educational and developmental tools is universally recognised, and by most they are considered as fundamental human rights. But in Cambodia, especially rurally, the rights and voices of children are often ignored and extreme poverty forces them to take on adult responsibilities at an early age. Access to sport and sporting equipment is very limited and basic knowledge of health issues, gender equality and many other social issues are lacking.
By bringing sport to the kids in their own communities we provide free access to a variety of activities such as soccer and volleyball. By combining sports with social messages, children not only learn new skills but also grow in confidence and find ways to face challenges, assert their rights and voice their opinions. The project runs a soccer league that allows safe, friendly competition, brings sport coaching to rural areas, and uses sport as a tool for leadership training for girls.
By playing sport and learning new games, kids inherently learn things like team work, communication and self-confidence. But when sport is combined with critical social messages, like gender equality and conflict resolution and used to teach kids how to stand up for their rights, it is truly empowering. Children love sport which is why it is such a powerful tool in helping them to develop skills that will shape their futures, change their own lives and the communities in which they live.