Cambodia Sports Project Volunteer Stories

Here are some experences from previous volunteers on Globalteer's Cambodia Sports Project in Siem Reap. You can also read about our volunteers' fund-raising endeavours in our Volunteers' Fund-raising Hall of Fame.

I loved the early Sunday morning volleyball and soccer tournaments, joining in games with the kids, helping out a small village by giving blankets, food and water purifying tablets...I could go on...and on...
18 year-old Queenslander Kelly Prior joined the Globalteer Sports Project for 12 weeks from September to November 2013. A qualified life guard and self-professed soccer obsessive, Kelly took a valuable break in between her physical education and nutrition studies to come share her fantastic skills and enthusiasm with the kids on the Globalteer Cambodia Sports project:

“I wanted a break from University after 6 months of studying straight after high school, however I didn’t have huge funds to keep me travelling overseas in places like Europe or America and I wanted to leave as soon as I could. Globalteer was suggested to me by one of my Mum’s friends who was currently teaching sowing in Cambodia at one of the projects Globalteer works with.”
 
What about age and experience?

Kelly’s young age and limited travel and volunteer experience didn’t hold her back in the slightest. She quickly made great friends with the constantly changing group of volunteers, and had natural confidence and initiative when volunteering with the sports team.
 
“I loved it! I have never met a more diverse group of people in my life, at one point I was enjoying dinner with people from Wales, England, Iceland and Australia. Everyone is so friendly and you all appreciate that you’re here for the same reasons”, adding that “as long as you enjoy working with kids, have lots of energy and enthusiasm, then the amount of experience you have is irrelevant. “
 
Impossible to single out just one highlight

With a varied timetable involving coaching sessions at different schools as well as organising and refereeing larger tournaments, the experience for the volunteers is diverse, giving a truly unique insight into the importance of games and sports programs for underprivileged children in Cambodia. When asked about her best experience with the Sports Project, Kelly struggled to name just one!
 
“I loved the early Sunday morning volleyball and soccer tournaments, joining in games with the kids, helping out a small village by giving blankets, food and water purifying tablets after the floods … I could go on….and on. The sports staff were great fun, we all ended up playing additional games of soccer on Wednesday nights after a full day of coaching with kids.”
 
A chance to tour Cambodia

Kelly also made the most of being based in the beautiful Cambodian town of Siem Reap. During the week nights and weekends she was a regular in the night markets and restaurants, organising dinners with the other volunteers. As a three month volunteer she made use of public holidays by travelling to other parts of the country:
 
“Depending on what time of the year you choose to volunteer, you can venture out of town and explore different sides of the country. I ended up on the borders of Vietnam and on Islands in the gulf of Thailand, what a journey that was! Just be aware that you might never want to leave it all.”
 
Over her three month volunteer placement, Kelly was an invaluable part of the sports team. Knowing that Globalteer is a UK registered charity and being part of the projects which the volunteer donations support definitely made her experience even more worthwhile.
 
Why choose Globalteer?

“I couldn’t recommend Globalteer enough! I know a lot of people who have always been a bit shady about volunteering in developing countries but after having experienced it first-hand I can tell you that by volunteering, even just for a few weeks, you are contributing in some way to making a difference in these kids’ lives.  Globalteer are an incredibly organised, friendly and passionate team and are always there to make sure you are enjoying yourself.”
 
Another huge thank you to you Kelly! Good luck with your studies back in Brisbane.

If you would like to help teach sports to Cambodian children, you can find out more at our Volunteer Cambodia Sports Project pages. Or if you have already decided to take up the challenge, go straight to our application form.

The enjoyment the kids get out of sport just makes it the most rewarding thing I have ever done!
Rachel Diamond, a 22 year-old assistant restaurant manager from Melbourne met the Globalteer team in Siem Reap when she spent six weeks volunteering on Globalteer’s Cambodia Community Project in 2012. As she was knuckling down to helping teach underprivileged children English, our sports project was still in its infancy. But seeing it at the beginning and witnessing the good work it was doing first hand (oh, and of course being totally sports mad), Rachel knew she had to come back and volunteer again. In May 2013 she did just that and was one of our first sports volunteers in Cambodia.
 
Here, Rachel tells us about her experience.
 
“I volunteered with Globalteer in Siem Reap in 2012 for 6 weeks and absolutely loved it. Plus I have coached junior basketball for 8 years so coming back as a sports volunteer was a perfect fit.
 
“I have a lot of coaching experience so I really enjoyed helping with the weekend soccer tournaments and running successful sessions myself, but I don’t think you need lots of experience working with children in order to help on the sports project - As long as you are motivated and willing to get involved and not just sit on the side lines!
 
“In fact I would recommend it to any of my friends as I know Globalteer are very organized, they are always there if you need any assistance. The staff at Globalteer are fantastic, the sports team are great! Trust me, everyone is great fun! And just as important, I know every cent paid is going to a good cause.

To coin a phrase: Just do it!

“My advice to anyone thing about volunteering on the sports programme would be: Do it!!!! The enjoyment the kids get out of sport just makes it the most rewarding thing I have ever done!! If you are involved in sports coaching it is also a great way to learn how to think outside of the box as there is a language barrier which makes the success even more rewarding!
 
Before her first placement with us Rachel had never volunteered before, but did not let that put her off. We are extremely glad that it didn’t and are looking forward to her next visit.
 
If you would like to work with our sports team in Cambodia and see for yourself why Rachel keeps coming back, please visit our Volunteer Cambodia Sports Project pages.
I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone who knows anything about sport!
20-year old Tiana Blaize Lacy (pictured right, far left) from Melbourne, Australia holds the honour of being the first ever volunteer to work on Globalteer’s Cambodia Sports project in Siem Reap. Working as a beauty therapist back home doesn’t seem the most obvious preparation for teaching Cambodia’s kids how to play volleyball and football but Tiana’s experience has convinced her that anyone with some knowledge of the rules of sport, a good level of fitness and a desire to help out would get huge satisfaction from working on the Globalteer Cambodia sports project, as she explained.
 
“I’ve always loved kids and I’ve always wanted to spend some time volunteering. I worked for two weeks at a special school in Melbourne over Christmas 2010, doing arts and crafts and Christmassy things, which made me want to volunteer even more.  I particularly wanted to work with children in a developing country because they have so little compared to the kids back at home”.
 
Getting stuck in to sports coaching

Tiana’s last formal contact with sport was playing volleyball at school when she was fifteen, but she found it easy to work with Globalteer's team, helping out with both volleyball and football coaching.
 
“I helped to coach volleyball to the girls and I played soccer with the boys. The team from Globalteer planned all the coaching sessions and gave me really clear instructions so I always knew what I was supposed to be doing. I was really keen to help get the girls more involved as it’s something they are not used to. And Globalteer has just started a girls’ football league so it was brilliant to get involved in that right at the beginning.”
 
Tiana thinks that anyone who has played sports at school could get involved, and is planning to return to Cambodia again in the next six months, adding
 
“I’ve already recommended it to my friends, and to my dad - although I think he is going to come and work on the clean water project - I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone who knows anything about sport. And volunteering is such a good way to learn more about a country as well as about yourself.”
 
How to be a part of the sporting action

If you would like to help teach sports to Cambodian children, you can find out more at our Volunteer Cambodia Sports Project pages. Or if you have already decided to take up the challenge, go straight to our application form.
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