Sokhoam’s personal history is a tragic one, she lost her father at a young age and her mother then left her and three siblings to fend for themselves while still at school, leaving them vulnerable to domestic abuse. Sokhoam supported her siblings by selling fruit, snails and washing her neighbours’ clothes. Sokhoam speaks bravely about how she would hide in the rice fields to escape abuse from her auntie and uncle, often sleeping in the mud to remain safe. However, with an unbreakable spirit, she has become a leader in her community using sport as a catalyst for change.
She is captain and leader of the Goals For Girls football education programme and was also recently selected as a female leader for Young Women in Sport Leadership Camp. She has won numerous medals in karate while also competing as a talented basketball player too. Sokhoam is one of the stands out students in her school and has worked with fellow students to organise sporting events for 1,000 students showing leadership and intelligence throughout the planning. She proactively goes into her community on a daily basis, speaking to parents about the positive impact of sport and encouraging them to allow their children to participate. With the help of the Michael Johnson’s programme Sokhoam hopes to give disadvantaged children in her own area an opportunity to play sport but also develop life-skills. Sokhoam experienced herself first-hand how sport can help you find the tools to cope with challenges in your personal life, and wants to give the same opportunities to others in her home village.
As a result of remote coaching support and her MJYL financial stipend Sokoam has been teaching her assistant coaches about sport for development and leadership. They focus on gender equality and the environment. She has trained and presented to 28 other coaches to help them become better leaders and educate children through sport. Through CAC’s Community Impact Coach Initiative and a CAC program she worked with CAC in Cambodia and was able to teach games and network with another organization. Taking part in the MJ Webinar and leadership sessions in Dallas Sokoam has been able to grow as a leader. Now she better understands how to communicate effectively and design sessions with the children she works with. As a result of her MJYL financial stipend Sokoam has taught 35 children in academic skills and social topics such as gender equality and the environment.