Football NSW coach Brett White has found himself coaching coaches and players from extremely disadvantaged and impoverished backgrounds on the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
White, who is the coach and player development coordinator for Bonnet Bay Football Club in Sydney’s south, has been travelling to Cambodia for many years running football clinics for kids at risk as well as leadership and sports mindset development.
He is currently developing leadership curriculum for students with Cambodian Children’s Fund on a six-month consignment and has found himself volunteering with the locally based Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA).
White received his FFA C Licence with Football NSW last year, through his local Sutherland Shire Football Association and is utilising his learning and experience to help guide, train and educate young coaches and players in Cambodia.
“All of the players and coaches come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, and from the poorest communities in Phnom Penh,” said White.
“They are eager to learn, love their football and if it wasn’t for HFCA, would not have an opportunity to coach, play competitive football or be coached at all.
“The coaches here have had very little education or training in coach development, and although they do a great job, are super keen to learn and develop further.”
HFCA relies on the support, sponsorship and donations from people and business around the world, and so check out what they are doing and get behind them and the young people they are impacting. www.hfca.org.au
HFCA’s partner organisations Cambodian Children’s Fund, Happy School and Build your Future Today, work with children who come from families who are living in extreme poverty, children who have been orphaned, lived on dumps or rescued from brothels or other forms of slavery.
HFCA has a senior team which competed in the KMH Champions League this year in Phnom Penh, the only team without professional footballers or foreign players.
Founder of HFCA, Paraic Grogan had much to say about the developments that have been seen throughout the last few years.
“Our heart and goal is that all our players and coaches come from these disadvantaged and poor communities that we are serving, which sometimes makes competition a challenge, but we are improving all the time.”
In Phnom Penh, HFCA now have a women’s under 18s team competing in a local competition and two development squads for the boys, an under 14s team and an under 18s team (pictured with Brett White), and they hoping to get these teams into competitions as soon as they can.
The 2019 year will see 11 young Cambodians going to Cardiff to compete in the Homeless World Cup, with over 50 countries from around the world, which is an incredible opportunity for these young players.
HFCA is doing an incredible job, using the beautiful game to impact the lives of over 200 young people in Cambodia, and our very own Football NSW coach, Brett White, is playing his part. Great stuff.