By Claire Duvallet
Introducing Phnom Penh’s newest soccer league: EWH Cambodia BMET! As we prepare for our third intake of students, our current students have really begun bonding—both inside and outside the classroom. These activities help build the community which will one day become the country’s biomedical network as the students in our program stay in touch with each other even after they are assigned to physically distant hospitals. Such connectivity allows for continued learning and information exchange long after the program has ended.
The first match was also used as a going-away celebration for Ray, our BMET mentor from Australia.
On the roster for team blue: Group 1 students (and company). They include a handful of our more experienced (and therefore, older) technicians from Phnom Penh, the two university students learning the BMET trade with Group 1, and EWH teachers and staff. This past week, Group 1 also had guest appearances from students’ friends and family (much to the dismay of Group 2).
And team red/yellow/white: Group 2, with fewer subs and extra players than Group 1. The Group 2 students come from all over Cambodia to study and stay in Phnom Penh for a week at a time while class is in session. Thus, more of them are able to make it out to the games and their team struggles less to get enough players. It is also interesting to note that, on average, Group 2 is much younger than Group 1.
So it was no surprise that the first game finished 7-4, in favor of Group 2. But in the second game, Group 1 came back in full force to win it 13-7.
When asked about this surprising comeback, Group 2 only had one thing to say: “jam merl sen”—wait and see for the final.
Update: After outfitting themselves with custom-made EWH jerseys, the students played their championship game on May 28. No non-BMET substitute players were allowed, but the eagerly-awaited championship game finished in a draw, 8-8! Stay tuned until next time, when the rematch will (hopefully) crown Cambodia’s first ever BMET soccer champions!