Kheang Sathaboramana – a successful female debater

As a country representative to join the international debating competition held in Taiwan recently, Kheang Sathaboramana has brought the championship back to the country with other two members in the team. Talking to a CambodiaCircles reporter a few days after her arrival, Sathaboramana said that she strongly opposed to what mostly said by Cambodians when they happened to lose in the competition that “if going to compete internationally, Khmer never come to the first or second place but third or no place at all”.

Kheang Sathaboramana, a successful female debater Sathaboramana has earned two scholarships after finishing high school, and now she is a senior student in Bachelor of Education at Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) and a junior in Public Relation at University of Cambodia (UC). She said that she had been interested in debating and public speaking since she was in year one at IFL, and that’s why she decided to register as a member in IFL debate club.

“Debate is something fun and joyful to me. Sometime, I add logical joke during debating because that is my exciting time, and by doing this, I would also be able to convince judges and gain more attraction from audiences,” she said.

Sathaboramana has already spent two years in the debate club, and she believes that she has learned a lot from joining this extra-curricular activity.

“I have learnt plenty of new things that could enhance my ability and general knowledge such as: public speaking, critical thinking, effective reading, and researching. I also learn how to cope with my stage fright, how to attract audience attention, and how to debate effectively,” said Sathaboramana.

Kheang Sathaboramana with other two Cambodians in TaiwanIn August this year she and other two people out of 32 debaters in the club were selected as the top 3 to form a team represented the school to compete with five other teams from different institute and universities in Cambodia.

Sathaboramana was selected to be a leader of her team, and she managed to lead the team to win the first place in the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Cambodia Debating Championship held at Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC).

Then, her team was selected to represent the country to join the JCI Debating Championship which was hold in Taiwan in the late of August this year.

This is the first time for her to go abroad joining this kind of competition, but the 19-year-old debater said in a confident manner that “we are Cambodians, we can do like other races do and sometimes even better than them”.

Sathaboramana and her team went smoothly through many round under the main topic “between economic development and environmental protection, which one is more important?”. In the final round, the Cambodian team has to compete with Taiwanese team, and the Sathaboramana team was called to hold a big trophy as the winner over four other teams came from different countries such as Macao, Taipei, China, and Japan.

“We had put so many efforts in researching and preparing and ultimately, we are pleased with the result. I felt proud to bring fame to Cambodia and did not disappoint my cheer people who spent a lot of time during our preparation and always encourages us,” said Sathaboramana after holding a title of the winner in the international competition.


My personal tips for success

“Once you are doing something, one element you need the most is commitment. Once you put all of your efforts and really commit to do something, I guarantee that you will be pleased with the result you get no matter what it is.”

“After we did a strong research and preparation plus your confidence, there is nothing you should afraid of. I feel that I am not only win the trophy but also win myself as a big achievement that I could stand and express my opinion and knowledge in front of hundreds of audiences and very intellectual judges.”

More than that

Kheang Sathaboramana and his classmates prepared for the school examination Besides mastering skill in debating, Sathaboramana was also selected to be in the list of top 10 Young English Learner Competition in 2010, an English test for young English learner to measure their English proficiency held by the New World Institute. More than that, she was selected as one of the recipients for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD Program) by the US Embassy in Cambodia for this academic year 2011-2012, and she will leave the country on January next year.

Sathaboramana said that in the future, she would like to conduct workshops related to debating to share her experiences while at the same time encourage other Cambodian youth to understand the real meaning of debating and how debating skills can help them in their academic as well as their everyday lives. “Some people think that debate is nothing more than a skill taught by their teachers in the class, but actually, debating is very beneficial for people who know how to practice it effectively,” said Sathaboramana.

So far, Sathaboramana has put herself a lot in volunteering for social goods. She has joined most of social activities such as planting tree or cleaning beach, etc. “Being an academic student, we should not only think about grading in class, we should spend some times for social work and volunteering for our country development,” said Sathaboramana.

Article by: Lim MengY
MengY profileLim MengY is a sophomore of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC). She likes writing in the hope that her articles can contribute to the society in term of improving reading habit among Cambodians. She has worked as a freelance reporter for a local media since she was in year 1 and started working for the CambodiaCircles as a news reporter since the existent of the website. “I want to be a professional reporter in the future,” said the 19-year-old reporter.