The first all-women’s volleyball, football, and basketball competitions took place Wednesday and Thursday at Borey Keila sports center, with cameras from TV5 airing the event, said You Narin, the chairwoman of the Commission of Women and Sport.
Fifteen teams participated. The RCAF team captured the basketball and volleyball trophies, and Tuan Fa Chinese School won first place in the football tournament.
A member of the winning football team, Duch Sophaon, 24, said she was surprised at her team’s victory, since they had only been playing together for two weeks. She grew up playing sports with four older brothers, and her father was the assistant coach of the national football team.
“The government has provided opportunities for women to play sports, but some women don’t want to play, because traditionally Khmer women shouldn’t use their feet too much. But it’s only the oldest generation that criticizes women who play sports now,” she said.
The captain of the third-place basketball team, Heng Sovaney, 17, said she wanted to join the national team someday if she was good enough. She scored 12 points in one game, her coach reported, and he is confident she can make the national team after she finishes studying.
Although his team lost every game, Prak Savy, a coach from Norton University, said he was happy to see so many women playing basketball, and he hoped they would do better in the future.
“We will have this competition every year from now on,” said Prak Savy. “These girls can really play. I had no idea it would be so successful.”
You Narin played badminton when she was younger, but never had the opportunity to try any of the sports featured in this week’s competition when she was a girl. She predicted that next year’s competition would be even bigger and better.
Would female kick boxing be included in the competition next year?
“Female kick boxing is still far away,” she said, laughing.