The Angkor Body Building Association (ABBA) has announced the date of their third annual Championship in 2013. It’s going to be on the 21st of this month at Rosana on Highway 6 just after Psar Leu Market. I went and interviewed Rocky, one of the coordinators for the event.
He told me that in the past, the main sport in Cambodia was boxing – bokatar. He and his colleagues are trying to get bodybuilding established as the new sport for the country. He told me its all about fitness and not fighting. The aim is to improve health care, diet and discipline. The focus is on body toning and muscle development. Last year’s event was held at the Angkor Century Hotel. They had over 500 people there. This year, they hope by holding it at Rosana they might achieve a crowd of 2,000 during the whole day.
He’s putting an intense radio and local tv advertising campaign into place. Interestingly he went to Phnom Penh and asked if the National TV would be willing to carry it, but due to the attire of the participants (posing trunks) it was not deemed suitable for Cambodian Culture.
The event is going to be free to the public. There are two sessions – prefinals from 8.00 to 11.00 and finals from 1.30 to 4.30. There will be two “guest posers”. Miss Olympia, Maria Carlswärd Ahlberg will be there as will Mister Sok Supheak who is Mister Cambodia.
The Siem Reap team numbers over 38 people and there will be contestants from other towns swelling the numbers. There is also going to be one Westerner – Brian. We will get an interview with him – promise!
There are prizes for the first five places in each class, and an overall title of Mister Angkor to be fought for. The prize money ranges from $300 to the class winner to $50 for 5th place. There’s a bonus of $300 for Mister Angkor and some major sponsorship as well. There is also a “Master Category” for “Seniors” over 40 years of ago!
The team at the 2012 event
If you’re in town on the 21st and want to see something really different, go along. I’ll be there and report back after the event.