Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kep club set to train young sailors



Kep club set to train young sailors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sailing boats stationed alongside Kep bay, before the Kep Sailing Club inauguration at Knai Bang Chatt on Sunday in Kep province. ANNA KOO

Kep club set to train young sailors

The country’s first official sailing club is ready to get Cambodian students on the water, as part of a collaborative effort between Kep boutique resort Knai Bang Chatt and the Cambodian Sailing Federation (CSF).

According to Thong Khon, the minister of tourism and president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, in addition to providing tourists with a range of sailing courses and rentals, the club’s long-term goal is to introduce the sport of sailing to Cambodian youth.

He hopes the facility will train local sailors to compete internationally in tournaments and sporting events, such as the Southeast Asian Games that will be held in Malaysia in late August this year.

The CSF has also selected the Knai Bang Chatt Sailing Club to be one of the training facilities for the 32nd SEA Games in 2023, which will be hosted by Cambodia.

Knai Bang Chatt CEO Jef Moons is confident that the idyllic coastal town will be prepared to host events at the international games but less optimistic about a Cambodian sailing team’s performance in the 2023 event. While there may be Cambodian youth who are passionate about sailing, Moons believes it is likely that parents may not yet see it as a viable profession for their children.

“It will be up and down but it is all about participation,” he said. The new Sailing Club, which has been offering boat rentals since the end of last year and has existed as a restaurant since 2006, is the first to partner with the CSF and features both beginner and intermediate level sailing programs for ages 6 and up.

Free sailing courses will be offered to youth in the local Kep community, such as for students from the Kep International School. These programs will be run by fully trained sailing instructors, five of whom were certified by the CSF at the ceremony.

One of them, Lak Sokunthai – who trained for six months at the club to get certified – said most Cambodians know little about sailing as a sport, and many parents are afraid to let their children near the water.

“Even for swimming, some of them don’t allow children to go to the water [because] they are scared they will sink,” she said. “If you’re scared your children are going to sink into the water [then you should] let them [learn] swimming.”

She hopes that with better understanding about sailing, more parents will allow their children to take it up as a sport. Even if the sailboat capsizes, which is a normal occurrence, a good sailor and swimmer would able to right themselves. “It is safer than riding a moto [on the road],” she said. “The road is narrow and there are drunk drivers but the sea is big.”

As the only woman in the newly-certified team of sailing instructors, she also hopes that more women will take up the sport. “In Cambodia, you don’t see a lot of women sailing. But foreigners, you see a lot of them sailing, some [as young as] 18 or 19.”

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished