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First national volleyball championship knock-out round held in the Reap

First national volleyball championship knock-out round held in the Reap

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Competition is swift, sweaty and brutal at the championships. Photograph: Peter Olszewski/Phnom Penh Post

The Leo Cup National Volleyball 2012 inter-provincial play-off kicked off on Tuesday at the downtown makeshift volleyball courts on Riverside Road next to the luxurious new Angkor Sayana Hotel and Spa.

And what a show it’s been to date, a great spectator event.

A carnival atmosphere was created with fairground games, the road past the courts jammed with traffic and hundreds of motos clogged walkways while thousands of spectators rolled up to watch the fast and furious action unfold on the dusty courts of battle.

The beer-company-sponsored volley-ball extravaganza ends on Sunday with four teams selected to compete in the finals at Phnom Penh.

Thirteen groups are playing in the Siem Reap elimination bouts and only four groups will be going to Phnom Penh to attend the final match.

Beoung Kimtou, the organiser of Leo Cup National Volleyball 2012 told Insider, “Ten groups are based in Siem Reap, two groups are from Preah Vihear province, and another one is from Kampong Thom.”

The action starts each morning at 7.30am and usually winds up “some time after lunch.”

Organiser Beoung Kimtou said the main purpose behind the volleyball shootout was to urge people to participate in sporting activities such as volleyball to get fit and healthy.

Or, as Beoung Kimtou sagely said, “Sport helps people get healthy, and thus they should practice it regularly.”

The aim is also to steer Cambodian youth away from illegal drugs, which is part of an ongoing crusade by the beer company behind Leo beer.

After the Siem Reap preliminaries wind up on Sunday, Leo Cup Volleyball 2012 eliminations will also be held in Kampong Cham and Sihanoukville.

Ultimately, twenty-four groups from provinces and from Phnom Penh will slug it out in the grand final bouts to be held in Phnom Penh from July 28 to August 8.

The tournament’s ultimate winning team will be taking home a handy prize: 40 million riel which is roughly US$10,000.

And that will buy a hell of a lot of Leo brew.

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