I began my new year with a book and a pencil stood at my desk at home in the province. I was unsure; but I remembered – I was ruminating about my next school year plans. I was certainly worried; however, I have to be headstrong, in order to take the agency over my knowledge. By stepping out toward another year with missions, I already knew that there was already another pile of challenges was waiting for me. I was stunned by what I have accomplished way back a few years ago and still – I want to keep doing it! “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mohandas Gandhi stated, this quotes got introduced to me during the very first day of my literacy class by my facilitator Cara Shelton. New year, old-me – I planned on to continue to contribute something new, something that aren’t many Cambodian have ever experienced: it is the spirit of Frisbee. In order to get this mission going it will work by raising awareness through the Cambodian youth.
If you never taste the soup, you will never know how it actually taste like. In life, although there are part of something people are able to explain but they will never know the actual taste if they never taste it; that’s like saying a Khmer idiom which declared through generations- even though you heard everyone talking about it thousands and thousands of times but it won’t make you feel any less real when you’re able to see and and be able to experience it one time.
Frisbee is a new sport to Cambodia. Although it has been introduced a long while ago, not many Cambodian have or actually played this sport at all. And that’s because Cambodian are still lack of human resources to spread the words and the awareness throughout its society.
Change doesn’t became possible if nobody started it…
Frisbee now, became one part of my life in such that it’s now called my favorite sport. It was hard at the start of my first training but as I continued to practice, I am now able to play, but not just a “play-play” but also I am able to teach others. Frisbee is like a flat ball sport – however one facet that I like about playing this sport; Is playing in a mixed genders team. This sport allows anyone, at any ages, to involve and to play together; It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, “sexes is not required”.
Not many sport that people knew about are able to play with different groups of mixed genders but in this sport, it enabled for anyone to be apart of it. It’s slightly two years that I’ve been trained and went out to international tournaments such as: Philippine(AOUGCC), Vietnam(Mekong Cups), and Malaysia(Grizzly Bear). And those experiences means a lot to me. I learned new strategies when I got to a new places; And because of that I want to take this as an opportunity to be able to spread and promote the spirit of this sport.
Living as human on this planet allowed us to take things for granted and as part of sharing life on Earth; I decided to be a part of my Bee-Force Cambodian Woman Ultimate team; Part of it was doing lots of physical training, practicing on my running skills and more; however, it is also about how we can spread this sport out to the people over there, whose doesn’t know; So I have now volunteered to help distribute this sport into the places at a rural side of Cambodia which is a few weeks in a while at Camkids which located in Kampong Speu province, approximately two hours drive. This sport mostly known by many citizens living in the city such as Phnom Penh but not many of those whom lived at the rural part have ever heard about it.
Being able to share this experienced to the kids is one thing but something that I want to see change being made is gender equity. Cambodian, still have that stigmas and myth that girls shouldn’t play sport with guys; But, that’s not true. This idea have to be change; girls are allow to do what they wish to do.
Part of my life is traveling; going to places and learning about something new. Back in the year I went to Battambang for my dinosaur project; On the last day we got to visit a government school and our team got to introduce different projects to the kids. I asked the director of the school to teach the kids on how to play frisbee. She was surprised and excited for her students because she said those kids like to play sport but the thing is, they don’t have that much of opportunity to learn it. So one of my friends and I taught them the throwing strategies and explaining how the game work. After a 30 minutes of throwing and 10 mins of explaining the game, 20 students who joined us have now understand and knew how to throw and are able to access this sport. That was one of my biggest achievements in the year, I could see those students’ smiles on their cheeks and I was very impressed that I was able to help them learn new sport.
Mission still continues…
Later on in the year, my team traveled down to Camkids, a school which provides students whose are living in the rural part of Cambodia to access to the education. I was pleased to see their happiness during our training. They were surprised to see something that was flat but can throw very far. A memory that I will never be neglecting; That was when one of the girls came to me in the middle of the training session with a shied and wondered looking reaction on her face; she said, “ខ្ញុំអត់ចេះគប់ទេបង!” which means, sister, I don’t know how to throw it! I looked at her right at the moment and smile at her. “That is the same feeling that I got the first time I start playing it.” I told her. After our short conversation, I started to give her instructions and grabs one of her hands to feel the frisbee and finally, she made it! She knew how to throw, catch the disc and she is now able to play after a three hours training. Before we left, we kept four frisbees for the school and we told them, “Please take care of it but played with it! Everyone are allow to play and don’t be afraid to play it.”
Everything starts from small steps.
This experienced have shared to 60 rural community students and 20 in a government schools in Battambang but this will continue to spread when those 80 speaks to one another then it’ll add up 160 then all of them speak to one another, it’ll make up 320 and this numbers will continue to rise up more and more and that’s mean those single one of the first 80 are apart of as change agents that helped everyone in this country to have skill on this new sport. For instant, this isn’t just a throwing or how to play lesson but it has taught them the spirit of the game and one important life lesson. Girls and boys are allow to play together – everyone are equally have the same rights
If he can play, that’s mean she can play!
Keep doing, keep playing, keep motivating, keep the energy, keep the strong force/moment and keep continue on walking towards it. I believed gender equity is the main and an essential key that I like about this sport. If we don’t start changing it, then who will change it?
My whole school year isn’t just about learning and training frisbee, it is just ⅛ or maybe only 10 percents of my school life proportion. I have many others things happened in the school year but by I thought if I can start to change it then the next person will help me to spread the spirit of this game. This sport have influenced me and taught others to be strong and keep moving forward no matter what happened.
Part of being a Cambodian citizen and as change agents, I want to keep spreading and contributing more and more new experience, because this will help me and help my country to better know and catch up with the rest of the world. Frisbee changes me to understand the definition of gender, that’s mean when others start learning it hopefully they will learn this significant aspect as well. Remember, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mohandas Gandhi mentioned.
And lastly, if I never take a step forward, I will never understand that front floor. If I never talk, nobody is going to hear! So missions will begin when my hands and mouth are ready to execute it.