Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation established

SOUTHEAST ASIAN VOVINAM FEDERATION ESTABLISHED Vovinam, a traditional Vietnamese martial art, is recognized throughout the globalized world. The World Vovinam Federation was first established in 2008, followed by the Asian Vovinam Federation in 2009 and the European Vovinam Federation in 2010.

Due to increased regional involvement in Vovinam competitions, officials from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Malaysia gathered in Cambodia from December 28-29, 2010, to announce the establishment of the Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation and to consolidate strategic policies to promote the sport in the region.

The Executive Committee of the Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation was appointed after the election. The Committee is comprised of 10 members holding five positions: President (Cambodia), Vice President (Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam) Secretary General (Indonesia), Deputy Secretary General (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam), and General Finance (Cambodia). H.E. Rath Sokhorn, Advisor to the National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin and Vice President of the International Vovinam Federation (IVF), was selected as the President of the Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation. After the election, he declared his firm commitment to do his best to raise the profile and reputation of Vovinam throughout the region. Mr. Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), stressed the necessity of the regional Vovinam Federation. "Since the World Vovinam Federation is far from the Southeast Asian region, we need one umbrella [organization] to cover the region closely in order to organize the regional Vovinam competitions," he said. "We already experienced the challenges in the Vietnam Vovinam Competition, and the Southeast Asian Games are scheduled to take place in Indonesia next year. Vovinam will be emerging as one of the martial arts. . .[so]. . .it is important to set up the Vovinam federation for the Southeast Asian context to stir up the competition." He emphasized that the Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation must be an effective federation because Vovinam was originally founded in Vietnam. After the Executive Committee was successfully appointed, Vovinam athletes representing the five member countries performed and competed on the final day to strengthen the partnership. So far, a total of 36 sports federations have been registered in the Kingdom of Cambodia: 21 Olympic Federations and 15 Non-Olympic Federations, one of which is the Vovinam Federation.

The Cambodia Vovinam Federation has been recognized by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, the Committee of Martial Arts of Cambodia, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The Federation has grown stronger after receiving assistance from its Vietnamese counterpart, which sends coaches to train Cambodian athletes. The Federation has participated in two international competitions, the World Championship and Asian Indoor Games 2009, which were both held in Vietnam. Cambodia won three gold medals, nine silver medals, and nine bronze medals from the two events. Vovinam was created by Master Nguyen Loc in 1938 and operates under two different contexts, competitions and performances. This martial art was recently introduced to Cambodia under the initiation of H.E. Rat Sokhorn. The Cambodia Vovinam Federation was established with a total of 19 executive members, and is comprised of eight clubs providing training to 30 male and female athletes.