The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced sponsorship of Cambodian athletes to participate in the Asian Sepak Takraw Championships which gets underway today in Kunming, Yunnan, China.
Dr. Meas Sarin, the president of the Sepak Takraw federation and an advisor to the MoEYS, speaking on Friday during a ceremony alongside seven selected athletes, instructed them to pay close attention to their health, to relax enough to be able to compete, and lead Cambodia to a good result.
For the championships, the Ministry has supported athletes through donors which included Dr. Sarin.
In China, a total of four events will be up for grabs; Regu and Double for Men and Women with the estimated total of 17 countries from China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Australia, Iran, Pakistan, Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Cambodia. It is the first time China has hosted the event.
Sepak Takraw, also known as Kick Volleyball, is a native to Southeast Asia. Players use a rattan ball and only allows players to use their feet and head to touch the ball. A cross between football and volleyball, it is a popular sport in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia.
Historians believe it was almost definitely preceded by the Chinese game of Cuju. It would have been brought in through early trade and had already become popular in Malaysia and Thailand by the early 1400s. Back then it was called Takraw in Thai or Sepak Raga in Malay.
At the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, Cambodia clinched the gold in the four-team Chinlone-linking event of the Sepak Takraw competition.