Empowering young minds through sport and education

In June, we worked alongside AIA, Tottenham Hotspur FC and the charity ISF Cambodia to deliver a camp for budding footballers on Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island.

We embarked on this journey with the intention of creating unforgettable memories for the 24 young girls participating. Many had never stepped onto an airplane before, nor witnessed the vastness of the sea beyond a screen. However, little did we know that it would be our lives that were truly changed. Across the week, these remarkable young women displayed incredible resilience, bravery, and determination to throw themselves into this exciting, if daunting, experience.

The Football Camp is just a small part of AIA’s promise to inspire young people to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives and an initiative that aims to create a professional environment for budding footballers from the AIA family all around Asia. Together with the support of the Tottenham Hotspur Global Development Coaches, it was an honour for AIA and CSM to partner with ISF Cambodia to create an unforgettable football festival, at a stunning location with world-class facilities.

We kicked off the camp with a welcome barbeque dinner and a fire show at the nearby beach, which needless to say, the kids adored.  From then on, it was a week of football, fun and adventure. On the pitch, they were able to sharpen their football skills, where the Spurs coaches were on hand to teach them the intricacies of passing, shooting and dribbling. A friendly tournament was organised against an international school, where the girls put their newfound skills to the test.

Alongside that, we introduced an educational element into proceedings, hosting a number of classroom sessions where they learnt about the importance of nutrition, daily exercise, mental wellness and how each of these are linked to living healthier and happier lives.

There was also a quick speedboat ride to a small island nearby, where the kids were given a first-hand account of the significance of living sustainably in order to protect the beauty of our natural environment. Buoyed with enthusiasm, they set about clearing up as much rubbish as they could carry across the island.

Finally, before the bittersweet goodbyes, the party were taken on a half-day tour around Koh Samui to see the sights and sounds of the incredible island, including a gorgeous waterfall and hilltop views of the island.

Throughout it all,  living Healthier, Longer, Better Lives was the key theme; be that speaking to loved ones to encourage mental wellness, making active choices to improve physical fitness, or the ways in which we can all play our part to protect nature by taking small steps such as not littering.

An incredibly rewarding week, with the girls leaving with medals, photos, gifts, but most importantly a lifetime of memories.

Photo Credit: AIA