The SOR SOMPONG camp
Special report by serge TREFEU (2008)
In the heart of Issan is located near Khon Kean, one of the best camps of the region. Situated in the village of Ban Paï at 40 Km far from the big city Khon Kaen, this camp is the most important of the region. For about 10 years, he has beaten the famous Keandjaï Keannorasing camp which is closed today.
It is very difficult to find this camp because it is lost in the end of the suburb of Ban Paï in the country side. Since its creation in 1993, no foreigner came to train there, a Japanese came once but just to visit it. The camp is owned by Mr and Mrs Sompong who leads it for at least 15 years with faith and strongest. Their son Kounseuk Sor Sompong has been one of the pearl of the camp by winning a lot of titles. The trophies of the young and talented boxer are everywhere in the living room. Mrs Sompong is quite glad and honoured to show them to me, the first European who came to visit the camp…
There most of the boxers starts around the age of 8 and very rare are those who stay here when they reach 15 years old. The youngest boxer has already about 15 fights and the oldest nearly 60. The strongest boxers go to the capital to train more important camps.
Currently the camp has always about 20 fighters. It is a lot because usually camps rarely have more than 10 fighters. It makes few years now that the Sor Sompong boxers fight all around the region. In Khon Kean or anywhere else there is always a representing of the camp in the organisations of Muay Thai!
2 trainers one of them is a former Champion of the Radja, take care of the children who train every day except on Sunday. Mornings are dedicated to school in Ban Paï which is not very far from the camp. But the afternoons are entirely dedicated to training. In the evenings, the majority of the children sleep in the camp’s rooms which are over the apartment of the owners.
Only those who live in Ban Paï go back home to sleep. Because kids come from all the Issan region, Udon Tani, Khon Kean, Ubon Ratchatani, Salakam, the Sor Sompong has a very good reputation!`
In spite the fact that the camp is a little bit old, it is very clean and the equipment is quite new. There are 2 rings and 10 bags and also Thai style body-building equipments, simple but effective.
The owners are quite proud to show that their boxers train in very good condition. It is very important for the camp, because it is a condition to gain good results. Indeed, the region is poor and the training condition for some fighters from Issan is very difficult.
Mr Sompong, who strongly leads the camp, is very close of his fighters who considers as his children.
Among his best elements, there are Lolek, Nungloban, Siantangnoi, Bangondam, Loundlaï, Seanson and Kamchaï who are future stars. In a few years their names will be surely heard in the big Stadiums of Bangkok…