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Petanque Federation discusses progress, challenges ahead

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Petanque Federation Secretary-General Sok Sabayna (centre) leads the discussion during a recent meeting at their office in Phnom Penh. CBPF

The Cambodian Boules and Petanque Federation (CBPF) recently held a series of meetings to discuss the progress it achieved through the years, the challenges it faces up ahead and the direction it will follow.

The first meeting was held at the end of April and was presided by CBFP Secretary General Sok Sabayna, according to a post on the official Facebook page of the CBFP. Sok presided over the meeting in place of CBFB President Sar Sokha.

During the meeting, the attendees discussed on activities to do while waiting for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. Improved training regimen for junior and senior athletes was also high on the agenda.

Sok conveyed coaches should not only think about the physical training of athletes, but also have to pay attention to their mental well-being.

Like the other sports federations, the CBFB also saw its activities disrupted by the outbreak. In the meantime, some of its athletes have resorted to individual training in their own homes.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent sports ban also forced the cancellation or postponement of local petanque competitions. Petanque competitions like the Sar Kheng Petanque Championships and Samdech Vibol Panha Sok An Petanque Games have been a regular fixture in the Cambodian sports scene before the coronavirus struck.

The first meeting was followed by another two weeks later. This time, the meeting was led by Bou Chumserey, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The meeting was also graced by the CBFP Secretary-General, Chief Technical Officer In Kim Srun and others.

The attendees primarily discussed the progress made by the Federation in developing and promoting petanque, which has grown to be one of the most popular sports in the Kingdom.

Cambodia has made great strides in petanque, a popular outdoor sports brought here by the French. The Kingdom is a regular participant and often does well in international petanque competitions.

Sok Chan Mean and Ke Leng have become household names after gold-medal finishes in world championships. Mean rose to fame after winning the gold in the 47th Petanque World Championships in Madagascar three years ago. Leng, for his part, made history after clinching her fourth consecutive World Championship gold last year.

In December last year, Cambodia’s delegation to the 3rd Asian Boules Sport Confederation Petanque Championships 2019 won six medals for its best-ever finish in the tournament.

The Kingdom’s progress on that front is most evident in hosting the 17th World Women and Junior Petanque Championships for the first time, one of the biggest and most prestigious petanque tournaments in the world.

Cambodia’s hosting of the Petanque World Championships in November last year drew more than 40 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. In the run-up to the tournament, Cambodia hosted the visit of Claue Azema, the president of the International Federation of Pétanque and Provençal Game.

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