By: Lim Wei Hao
Cambodia’s ASEAN University Games (AUG) Epee coach Sok Ang is one of the pioneers of fencing in Cambodia and holds many hats. Apart from being the appointment of Deputy Secretary General at the Fencing Federation of Cambodia, he also handles administrative work, international relations and marketing.
“It’s really hard for me. The federation doesn’t support my living income, so I spend eight hours at work, then I go for training. At night, I do the administrative work for the federation,” said Sok Ang.
When Sok Ang first started fencing 10 years ago, he actually had to keep his new found interest from his parents.
“I learnt many martial arts sports. But because my parents don’t allow me to join martial arts sports, I withdrew one by one. When I picked up fencing, I just bluffed them that I went to school,” chuckled Sok Ang.
“I spent 2 hours everyday for fencing, until I got the scholarship to join a training programme in China. That was when I finally told them,” he continued.
Cambodia managed to receive support from the International Fencing Federation from 2006. They had the privilege of experiencing training under a Chinese coach for 6 months, on top of also receiving fencing equipment.
“If I give up, the equipment is meaningless. So I have the passion to continue. I just want to see fencing develop in my country, that’s why I keep myself in fencing for 10 years,” said Sok Ang.
With less than 50 fencers and only two fencing clubs in different provinces in Cambodia, it was not easy to field competitors for the AUG.
“My goal for this AUG is just I hope that they can bring 1 medal, bronze silver or gold back. We have some challenges for our country too. This year, if we cannot make any results for the government, we face a problem for the next SEA Games too,” said Sok Ang.
AUG fencing action continues until Sunday at the Stephan Riady Hall 1 and 2 at the National University of Singapore University Town.