You are here

Coaches Across Continents: Rained on and better for it


Coaches Across Continents: Rained on and better for it

Coaches Across Continents regular volunteer Charlie Crawford blogs about enjoying the rainy season in Sihanoukville, Cambodia with M’Lop Tapang.

The rainy season earned its descriptor this week. After two weeks in Cambodia’s Capitol, our coaching staff split into two groups and went to Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. As it went, Turner and Spring headed north to Siem Reap, while I journeyed to the coast with Markus (or “Helga Mueller” as he appreciated being called after his favourite player’s female alter ego). On the coast, we worked with partner programme M’lop Tapang and their 25 participants on one of the closest to ideal fields I’ve ever seen working with CAC.

Sihanoukville seemed to be rolling out the green carpet for us. For the training we played our games on a beautiful roofed field. A quality astro-turf away from broken glass, mud, and the scorching sun is simply too rare to not show up each day with a smile on your face. As good as it was, there was one moment during this week that the conditions taught an important lesson. Perfect conditions just don’t exist. As we prepared to start the training on Tuesday, the Cambodian rainy season hit the switch. So much rain pelted the roof that we couldn’t hear each other shouting 10 feet away for 3 hours.

Needless to say, our plan for the day required some last minute reorganising, yet ended up being one of our best. A feat, in large part because of the flexibility of our three ‘Community Impact Coaches’ (CICs).


I’ll remember a number of things about this programme. The girl’s team that had better skills than the boys. The 9v9 pickup game we played with our coaches against other locals one evening. The fried noodle meals that left me wanting nothing else (an uncommon occurrence). But as impressive as these and the rain and the beach were, what truly made this a week to remember was the presence of these CICs from Phnom Penh. Sameth “Handsome Man”, Ranya, and Makara became more than a couple of coaches throughout the week.

Making strong connections with people in a short amount of time is a pre-requisite for on-field work with Coaches Across Continents. That being said, having three weeks instead of the typical one gave Markus and me an opportunity to form a bond with these three coaches even more. From Sameth’s vitality, to Ranya’s massages, to Makara’s sense of humour, these three have certainly become part of CAC’s and my own family.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


Article type



Nicholas Gates


Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 00:00