Leak is a young enthusiastic teacher for deaf student at Krousar Thmey School in Siem Reap. He decided to deepen his commitment with the kids by learning how to be a rugby coach!

He communicates with the students using sign language, which he knows perfectly. In every situation (speeches, opening and closing tournament ceremonies…), you will see Leak in a corner of the room within sight of the deaf students, signing to them so they can understand. When it is time to applause, you will see Leak and the students raise and shake their hands with a big smiles while there is loud claps around. You will also see Leak on the field, giving instructions about the game strategies to adopt and translating in sign language what Jean-Baptiste, the rugby trainer, says.

When we see Leak with the children, we can see that their relationship is natural, more like a big brother and his siblings than a teacher with his students. We asked him a few questions about his job and his role for the children with hearing impairements.

Hello Leak, can you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Leak and I’m a teacher for the deafs in Krousar Thmey School in Siem Reap. I also decided to be a rugby coach for deaf students. We have more than 20 children playing rugby every week!

What do you think rugby brings them?
I think rugby helps them be in good health, release their energy, and play together as a team. Thanks to rugby, they all became closer than before, and they also met other kids from other schools who are not deaf and they also became friends. I think this is good for them to have an activity to share with other. For some of them, it became a passion and they would like to be professional players!

You and your students seem very close, what is your relationship with them ?
At school, we spend the full day together, and we learn from 7 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday we do other activities. We play football, rugby, volleyball… Sometimes, we also visit new places outside school. So yes, we are always together so they know me and I know them very well. We trust each others and we have fun!

There is no problem if you don’t know anything in sign language, Leak or the cheerful students are more than happy to show you some words and to joke with you!

We would like to thank Leak for his strong commitment and his kindness. He is doing a fantastic job and gives the opportunity to deaf children to have access to sports. We are proud to work with such dedicated people to help people with disabilities achieve themselves through sports in Cambodia!

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