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Football And Fun - International Children’s Day At KMH Stadium

Article by

Luka D’Amato

The KMH Foundation held its first ever KMH International Youth Tournament in celebration of International Children’s Day. With over 360 youth players participating, the two-day event spanned from Friday, May 31st to Saturday, June 1st.

Hosting teams from Cambodia and Malaysia, the youth tournament consisted of ten schools and academies, with 35 teams participating. To encourage physical activity and teach life values in both children and adolescents, the tournament was broken down across 5 age groups (U8-U16), allowing each player and team to grow at their own level.

“Through our tournaments, academy programs and football school, we provide opportunities and platforms for youth across age groups without discrimination of race and social background. The KMH International Youth Tournament is another manifestation of our goal, where youth of various nationalities can come together to play football,” said Sen Kang, Program Director and Founder of KMH Football Foundation.

With a large turnout of smiling players on the field and cheering friends and family in the grandstands, the tournament was a significant accomplishment for the KMH Foundation and Rising Stars International Sports Academy (RSISA), who jointly organized the event. However, the tournament’s success extends beyond numbers, teaching the players important values along the way. Centered on the theme “Right to Play,” the inaugural tournament focused on building creative mindsets in the youth and providing a cultural exchange between the players.

“We chose the theme ‘Right to Play’ because we know that through play, [the youth] also learn important lessons about themselves and their communities. That's the heart of what we do. We use the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities,” said Dr. Ken Gadaffi, KMH Foundation Marketing Consultant and founder of RSISA. “Learning through sports is subconscious and it lasts forever,” he continued.

Through bringing players from the two countries together, as well as promoting positive values and helping show youth that they have a “Right to Play,” the event was a true celebration of International Children’s Day.

“In my opinion, our players definitely carry huge experience throughout the three days. They were able to make new friends, learn new skills and collaborate with players from different lifestyle,” said Anbalagan Supramanian, Director of Dream Stars Soccer Academy Johor Malaysia, the visiting football academy. “It has been as a fear breaker among our players because they were able to suit themselves to the environment,” he continued. Coach Supramanian thanked the KMH Foundation and RSISA for the opportunity.

Moving forward, the KMH Foundation plans to organize this event annually in celebration of International Children’s Day and to continue developing positive values and the skills of their players, as well as building grassroots football in Cambodia. Next year, KMH Foundation and RSISA hope to attract more players, especially from abroad to help build the event. In the meantime, they plan to continue growing grassroots football in Cambodia, including through helping young players access the sport.

“We have recently started the KMH Football School. We will encourage schools, clubs and academies to engage their kids more in competitive games like this, thus we hope to start the KMH Grassroot Football League which will help create a good opportunity for youth football development in Cambodia,” said Dr. Gadaffi on their ongoing activities promoting youth access to sports.

Founded in 2012, The KMH Foundation is the CSR organization of ISI GROUP as part of our vision to create and build a better living for all. The KMH Foundation focuses on the key areas of Education, Healthcare, Sport and Housing.