The inaugural Southern National Lion Dance Championships at the IOI Mall in Puchong, Selangor this weekend attracted 21 lion dance troupes, including two national champions, from across Malaysia.
The event was organized by Sinar Majestik Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Xinyang Athletic Association.
Sinar Majestik President Datin Sabrina Lee said: “Having provided aid to many Malaysians affected by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent floods, we felt that hope was needed for the Malaysians are going through this together.”
Champions Lion Dance & Dragon Dance Association Hong Teik Alor Setar Kedah won RM8,888, while first runner-up Xuan Long Dragon and Lion Dance Team A Ampang Selangor pocketed RM6,888 and second runner-up Ching Xing Sport and Cultural Center Penang won received RM3,888.
The Sportsmanship award went to Yi Xuan Selangor Cultural Academy who received RM1,000.
Cheah Kwong Leang, 52, founder and coach of the champion team, Hong Teik Alor Setar Kedah, said: “Winning the championship was never our main goal.
“We play with the intention of maintaining and promoting Chinese culture in our community.
“For this tournament, we only had 10 days to train.
“Winning this competition is definitely the result of our hard work,” he added.
Among the 11 team members, two are Cheah’s sons – Chao Long, 24, and Chao Fhong, 27, who took the lion’s head and tail.
Cheah introduced her sons to this art form when they were around five or six years old, and they have been active in this cultural tradition ever since.
Cheong Chee Keen, Chief Judge of the competition, member of the Malaysian Dragon and Lion Culture Federation, said, “After a two-year hiatus, I am happy that this event can finally take place this year.”
He said he was impressed with the performance of the troops.
“With only two weeks to prepare, they had all done a great job.
“Although the troops have not been allowed to compete or perform for the past two years, their standards are still high.
“I congratulate them for not having resigned during the confinement period.
“You could tell that they consistently practiced the basics at home during the motion control order, as their performance was fantastic despite such a long break,” Cheong added.
Corporate sponsors of the event included Holborn Capital Partners, KonTime Luxury Watch Sdn Bhd, Ming Ren Xuan and Black Card Platform.