Olympic fever: How sport is keeping kids in school in Cambodia

We’re captivated by it; the fun, the loud noise, the colour! The Olympics can bring nations together and promote a sense of unity and togetherness that makes us all want to celebrate in our defeats and triumphs. That’s the really positive impact that sports can have on the world. At SeeBeyondBorders we see that sports can have a huge impact on children’s futures.


In Cambodia there is often limited access to quality education for children and nearly half of children do not complete primary school. SeeBeyondBorders is addressing this through a range of programmes including our flagship work Teach the Teacher and more recently through our supporting focus areas, ‘Better Schools’ and ‘Getting to School’. One of the key components of Getting to School is the sports programme because we know that creating a fun educational environment will not only get children into school but keep them there in the long term.


What’s even better about using sports as a tool for education is that it also brings the community together to help the children learn. Sports has the power to inspire and motivate everybody. SeeBeyondBorders trains teachers to create fun sports activities, like track and field and basic gymnastic skills like hula hoping and bar work that will stimulate and engage students. We also work with parents and others in the local communities to encourage them come on board as Assistant Coaches so that everyone feels a part of the project. By adding the sports element to the children’s schooling and involving their parents and community we’re seeing fewer drop outs; with a 4% reduction in school absences in the last school year, and much happier students.


Hing Meing is from very poor family in Bavel. She has to look after her brothers and sisters as well as going to school and would often end up missing classes because she wasn’t engaged and inspired. Thanks to SeeBeyondBorders she’s had a chance to play sports with friends and this is helping to keep her coming back to all of her lessons.


In the last school year alone SeeBeyondBorders;

  • Introduced sport to 14 schools
  • Trained 70 school teachers in three districts
  • 154 members of the community as Assistant Coaches

One of our trained Assistant Coaches, Thom Toi, sums up our work with the community perfectly for us;

“It is our role to support the school and it will be strengthened from our involvement. The school does not belong to one person, but to everybody and it is important for the community to be involved.”

And what better way to do that through sports!

You can find out more about our work promoting sports in schools here

Find out how you can get involved in our work www.seebeyondborders.org 



Author: SeeBeyondBorders

SeeBeyondBorders provides children in Cambodia with access to quality teaching and learning at school. Our approach is through sustainable development, helping communities help themselves.

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