Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nationwide Boxkator Competition held in Phnom Penh


On the August 27 to August 31 a Nationwide Boxkator Competition is being held at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. Almost 300 boxers, form 18 different boxkator clubs and associations form across Cambodia will be competing. The boxkator competition is organized by the Cambodian Boxkator Federation (CBF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to preserve and promote boxkator which is a Khmer traditional martial art for the next generation.

Keo Thearith, 19, a boxkator fighter from Siem Reap is attending the boxkator competition in Phnom Penh. He is one of the new generations of Cambodians preserving their cultural heritage. Thearith said that he was happy to attend the competitions this year. “It is my first time to attend the boxkator competition in Phnom Penh. Although I am not experienced in fighting but with hard training and strong commitment, I will try my best to fight and win the competition,” he said.

Hok Chheang Kim, Secretary General of the Cambodian Boxkator Federation, said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on August 27: “I am happy because boxkator has been recently recognized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world heritage. It is a proud moment for our Cambodian people. Therefore, I think that this competition will help develop and promote our Boxkator in the future.”

This is the fourth year the federation has organized a national boxkator competition. Besides promoting the sport and preserving this part of Cambodia’s heritage, the federations also wants to promote sport and contribute to the general health awareness of Cambodians. The federations want the Khmer traditional martial art to become a “Sport for All”. The Secretary General further said: “I am happy because the number of Boxkator boxers attending this year’s competition have increased compared to previous competitions. This is a result of the CBF’s hard works and the peace, security, development and progress made by the Royal Government of Cambodia under the leadership of the Prime Minister Hun Sen.”

Relating to the competition, Chheang Kim said that the competition is divided in a male and female division. Fighters of both genders will compete in a fighting and a show part.
There are 4 weight categories, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60kg and 65 kg. There are a total of 49 medals to be won in all different categories. The medals and prices that will be awarded to this year’s winners are provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

In its endeavors to preserve boxkator the CBF has collaborated with the Southeast Asia Television (SEATV). SEATV will start airing weekly matches from early October.
The competition will be organized every weekend and take place at the SEATV’s arena locating in Sleng Roloeung village, Phnom Penh Thmey commune, Russy Keo district, Phnom Penh. CBF also has plans to organize a “World Boxkator Championship” competition in next two years in Phnom Penh. “I believe that through these competitions we will be able to preserve boxkator for our next generation and promote boxkator in the world,” the Secretary General stated about the federations future plans.

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