Lao Karatedo dreams high for 25th SEA GAMES 2009

Posted by samakomlao Saturday, June 28, 2008

New karatedo committee takes office

More than 100 people watched as the Lao Karatedo Federation announced the formation of a new committee last Sunday at the International Cooperation and Training Centre in Vientiane.

Minister to the Prime Minister's Office and President of the Lao National Sports Committee Dr Phouthong Seng-akhon adopted the measure aimed at improving the organisational structure of the karatedo executive board in April this year.

The new committee conprises five consultants of whom two hold honorary positions. There are also 11 administrators.

“The announcement of this new structure is part of the federation's development plans as required by the Lao National Sports Committee in preparation for the 25 th SEA Games, which Laos will host next year,” federation president Vilayvong Bouddakham said.

At the same time, members of the outgoing executive committee and donors to the federation received certificates of honour and congratulations.

Attendees then watched a karatedo demonstration led by federation advisor Phongsavath Boupha, in which more than 60 fighters took part.

Mr Vilayvong and President of the Yuuwakai Association of Japan, Mr Watanabe Shinichi, signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a karatedo practice centre and office.

Mr Vilayvong said the US$100,000 grant aid from the Yuuwakai Association would provide the federation with better training facilities and encourage more people to take part in the sport.

The association has been providing Japanese karatedo coaches for long term training programmes to help strengthen Lao players' skills.

According to a press release from the federation, the government has set a target for athletes to win 25 gold medals in 25 th SEA Games, including two in karatedo.

The federation plans to expand training for karatedo fighters nationwide in a bid to increase the number of players.

“The Eighth National Games is taking place in Champassak province in December. This is good preparation for Lao athletes taking part in the SEA Games,” Vice President of the Lao National Sports Committee Somphou Vongsa said.

According to 2007 federation figures, Laos has only about 100 karatedo fighters. This is much less than the estimated 25,000 in Vietnam, 10,000 in Myanmar, 3,000 in Cambodia and 100,000 in Thailand.

The federation was first established in 1998 when it was called the Karatedo Association. The Lao National Sports Committee later changed the name to the Lao Karatedo Federation.

Lao karatedo fighters have taken part in many international competitions, including the 22 nd SEA Games in Vietnam (no medal), 23 rd SEA Games in the Philippines (one bronze), the World Karatedo Championships in Germany in 2004 (one bronze) and a meet in Australia in 2006 (no medal).

Karatedo fighters also attended the 13 th Asian universities competition in Vietnam in 2006 (two silver and 10 bronze medals) and the 24 th SEA Games in Thailand in 2007 (one bronze).

By Vientiane Times

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