Sunday, March 20, 2011

Community relations

The Academy boys itching to get on the jet-skis
The family of Rithy Samnang (black shirt) hand over a bicycle to the school's best student
The Academy boys from Phnom Penh Crown did their bit for community relations this morning, getting up at 4am and heading south to the Cambodia-Vietnam border at Chrey Thom, on the banks of the Bassac River, to help recognise and reward the students at Sampeau Meas school located in the border town. A few hundred yards from the school stands the Crown Casino and Hotel and the family of Crown president Rithy Samnang offers support to the school each year, with a reward for the best students and gifts for the remainder, totalling some 700 students. The Academy boys were called in to help distribute the gifts and to show the students that there are now opportunities if you excel at sports, as well as highlighting for the Academy boys another facet of their education; giving back. Local officials and the Academy staff of Bouy Dary and Kao Kiry also took part and I went along too, for the ride. As well as the distribution of gifts, everyone at the ceremony got an ice-cream or two, which went down really well, and then the Academy boys returned to the casino property where they were allowed to enjoy the jet-skis and banana boat on the Bassac river, under supervision. They loved it. Following lunch in the casino restaurant, it was back on the bus for the two-hour drive back to the capital. I must say how well-behaved the Academy students are and they've quickly become a real credit to the club. Until a few weeks ago, they could've been sat in the audience awaiting their own gift, but they appreciate the opportunity they've been given and I'm sure will enjoy more occasions like this in the future.
The gifts and the students waiting their turn
The Academy students pass out gifts to the schoolchildren
The schoolchildren acknowledge their gifts
The school students waiting patiently for their gifts and ice-cream
I grab a seat at the back of the group and chat to 14 year old Srey Mom
No rest for the Academy students as they clear up after everyone had left
The banana boat boys getting ready for their adventure
3 boys on each jet-ski; they didn't want to come off
A look at the Bassac River at 7.15 this morning

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