Large crowds flocked to the Melbourne event and at every Cambodian game students and staff from the Ivanhoe school cheered the team on. Over the last five years Ivanhoe Grammar students and staff continued that great support in many ways.
In 2008 a new chapter in Ivanhoe Grammar Schools relationship with Cambodia began when the Homeless World Cup came to Melbourne and we were introduced to Happy Football Cambodia. Over a wonderful couple of weeks with the Cambodia Team coming to school twice and a number of Year Levels making the train trip into the city to cheer them on from the stands, a wonderful partnership was born that thrives to this day. Since then not only have we supported them financially, but over seven different groups of Ivanhoe Students and staff have been fortunate to visit Happy Football in Phnom Penh and enjoy friendly games of soccer and wonderful hospitality. These visits continue to inspire as we have met so many Cambodian children who have found hope and purpose through playing soccer- Andrew Fox Member of Academic Staff, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Melbourne.
Every year since they have visited our project in Phnom Penh and played friendly games (see the story of the recent game bottom of newsletter) against HFCA. They have been superb in terms of the support they have given us financially and on several occasions when we had no funds to pay staff wages and other costs, their support kept HFCA afloat.
Ex Ivanhoe Grammar students such as Claude Jabbour, Adrian Delmonte and James Minas have raised thousands of dollars for HFCA. Ivanhoe staff such as Scott Henderson, Chris Norwood, Mark Horsford and Andrew Fox have been amazing in their efforts to keep the relationship alive and build on those early days in 2008. Some ex students such as Lana Murphy have gone back to Cambodia to visit players. All the Ivanhoe students who have visited our program have been so friendly to our players and have been great ambassadors for Ivanhoe, Melbourne and Australia.
It was great to breach the language barrier through such a universal sport. It was amazing to see how much the facilities had improved since the initiative first started, from having next to no equipment to being a fully equipped soccer facility.- Mairead a student on this year’s project had this to say about her visit
Thank you Ivanhoe Grammar!