News Melbourne's Ivanhoe Grammar school host wonderful Village Cup for rural youth in Siem Reap, Cambodia

HFCA are very proud of our Australian roots and therefore were delighted to welcome our old Australian friends IGS (Ivanhoe Grammar School) back to Cambodia for their 1st visit since 2019.
IGS Principal Gerard Foley hands over the trophy to the winning boys team Siem Reap Town. Image Andrew Fox/IGS

HFCA & IGS spent many months planning this tournament for 80 underprivileged youth from our football village programs we run with our Siem Reap NGO partner Build your Future Today. With a total of 40 boys in four teams in the boys tournament and another 40 girls in four teams in the girls tournament each village team was guaranteed three matches each. The event was held at the Svay Thom Stadium.

'It was a brilliant event with amazing outcomes for our students. Australians love their sport and a HFCA soccer tournament provided us with some unexpected sporting memories that will last us a lifetime'' said David Gibbs, IGS Teacher in Charge Cambodia Service Project

Svay Thom stadium hosted the 8 teams and over 100 IGS students from Melbourne. Image Andrew Fox/IGS

Gibbs continued "We come to Cambodia seeking authentic relationships and experiences that will enable us to grow in character and develop as global citizens. So with athletic skills, village passion and opportunities to share the Village Cup experience with Cambodian children our expectations were exceeded''

To ensure the IGS students who spent months fundraising to cover the Village Cup costs got the most out of their experience, HFCA asked the students to run the event! And they did a wonderful job with 24 students taking on roles as coaches with three coaches for each of the eight competing teams.

Sras Srong Village (white shirt/red line) take on Siem Reap Town (blue bibs) with their IGS coaches (black shirts) watching on. Image Andrew Fox/IGS

HFCA also handed over control of our Facebook page and our 110k followers to another 16 students to act as photographers, videographers, content writers and producers. Many other vital roles such as stadium and pitch management, scoreboard managers and music were managed by IGS students and with 112 students joining on the day those not actively involved in event roles just picked a village team and followed them passionately.

Brigitte aged 18 on her first ever role as a football coach ''It's been absolutely incredible, I have just loved seeing the girls playing football & enjoying themselves" and Brigitte was impressed by all the HFCA players ''I think it's just amazing, the enthusiasm they have for the sport, their willingness to play is incredible''

Chub Smach Village girls & Oroong Village girls fight for possession as their IGS coaches watch on. Image Andrew Fox/IGS

Brigitte sees the value in IGS supporting HFCA's work with underprivileged rural youth ''I feel so grateful to be part of that. I am really happy that we as a school have been able to help the Village Cup happen as it provides a great opportunity for them"

Oroong Village players and coaching staff/supporters celebrate a vital goal in the penalty shoot out. Image Andrew Fox/IGS

IGS Principal Gerard Foley see the benefits for his students ''It's important for them to support others, it's important for them to be engaging and you can see by the fun & the tears and the enjoyment that everyone is having, it's just a wonderful opportunity for both Cambodian kids & Australian kids to do something they have shared passion for''

Siem Reap Town players and supporters love it when they win the penalty shootout and eternal glory. Image Andew Fox/IGS

And considering HFCA & IGS first joined forces in 2008 Principal Foley predicts a bright future for the friendship ''It's a wonderful relationship and it gets better and better each year and it's just fantastic to attend a tournament like this and we hope the relationship continues for many years to come as the benefits for the Ivanhoe Grammar School students are enormous as well."

Sras Srong Village winners of the girls tournament with their medals. Image Andrew Fox/IGS