Angkor Body Building Association (ABBA)
About The Association
The Angkor Body Building Association (ABBA) is a unique non-profit organisation that integrates sports with charity work. The association is driven by a desire to help the less fortunate, especially young children, through the provision of necessities and personal acts of kindness. Since its formation, ABBA's charity work has included the building of schools, hospital visitation, and the sending of food supplies to needy villages.
Founded by Cambodian personality Rocky Lee, ABBA's roots can be traced back to 2011 when it was conceived as a club for body builders. Based in Siem Reap, Rocky witnessed first-hand the struggles of the impoverished villages in Cambodia and recognised the need to provide assistance to them. In 2013, a meeting between Rocky and Singaporean aesthetic specialist Thomas Tong, owner of grooming centre Thomas D’esthetique, revealed a similar passion for philanthropy, planting the seeds for what is now a young but ambitious organisation. The conception of ABBA gave Rocky and Thomas an avenue to render aid to these people responsibly and effectively.
Rocky explains, “In the beginning, the aim of ABBA was to provide proper training to our athletes and members. We started sharing gifts with poor villages and gradually got more and more involved in reaching out to less fortunate families and kids.
Since June 2013, ABBA has been delivering care packages to villages in Cambodia. These packages are designed to cater to the villages' specific needs and are sent twice every month. Additionally, an ABBA workforce primarily made up of volunteers embarks on aid missions four times a year, offering hands-on relief that includes the building of schools and educating the young. Not restricting itself to Cambodia, ABBA has reached out to other countries in Asia too, rendering its services to orphanages, hospitals and villages in Bali and Thailand in recent months.
“Our favourite part of charity is seeing the smiles on people’s faces,” says Rocky. “We hope that our actions will spur others to continue this ‘sharing behaviour’ and give support to the less fortunate people.”
As ABBA's founder, Rocky's affection for sports and fitness is apparent in the association's other specialty. Held annually since 2011, ABBA has run the Angkor Body Building Championship, a competition that highlights the beauty of the human physique and brings together the top body builders in the country for a good cause. Fast growing in popularity in Cambodia, the competition is a novel approach to fundraising – all profits generated through the contest is channelled directly into the charity arm. Rocky is also a bona fide personal trainer stationed at Angkor Muscle Gym who offers his expertise free of charge. He regularly schedules biking trips to local villages, where they stop to hand out food.
For find out more about ABBA's charity work or to find out how to join as a volunteer, visit the ABBA Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/Angkorbodybuildingassociation