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Cobra Gold 18: Somboonnaram School Sports Day

Story by Cpl. Justin Huffty, III Marine Expeditionary Force

The Somboonnaram School invited service members to join them in a sports day event during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 in the Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018.

Seabees, Sailors, and members of the Thai armed forces play a game of soccer during sports day event at Somboonnaram School in support of Cobra Gold 2018 in Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin Huffty)

 

Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand and runs from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations.

The sporting events kicked off with a twist on the commonly known game of golf. Other events included a four-legged race, wheelbarrow race and a game of soccer.

“The Singaporeans, the Thais and the Americans are coming together and just playing sports and getting to know each other,” said Builder 2nd Class Buz Spiers, with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, “which is pretty cool.”

A Sailor secures the tie around her leg before a four-legged race during a sports day event at Somboonnaram School in support of Cobra Gold 2018 in Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin Huffty)

 

Seabees and Sailors and children stand at the starting line of a four-legged race during sports day event at Somboonnaram School in support of Cobra Gold 2018 in Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin Huffty)

 

Despite the differences in cultures, everyone was still able to participate and have a good time.

“It’s a learning experience, working with Thais and the U.S.,” said Lance Cpl. Jaycus Tan, with the Headquarters Army Combat Engineer Group of the Singapore army. “We learn different methods of doing things from both.”

The children that attend the school were there to cheer on the service members and to compete with them in certain events.

“I think it is quite fun playing with the children, especially this type of fun and games,” said Tan. “You can really connect with them.”

“I love interacting with the kids,” said Spiers. “It’s a lot of fun. When they leave the school the first thing they do is run up to us and try to give us high-fives. They’re just so happy and it’s awesome to see them.”

A Sailor stands ready at the starting line of a four-legged race during sports day event at Somboonnaram School in support of Cobra Gold 2018 in Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin Huffty)

 

During CG18, events like the sports day give service members an outlet to reach out and interact with the local populace. It helps support the needs and humanitarian interests of the civilian populations around the regions of Thailand.

“Our motto is, ‘The difficult we do now. The impossible takes a little longer,’” said Spiers. “I think that we have really shown that in this exercise.”


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