First Event, USSSA Held USA Pencak Silat Championship 2019
TIMESHONGKONG, NEW YORK – The United States Sport Silat Association (USSSA) held USA Pencak Silat Championship 2019. This event attended by participants from several states such as New York, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Virginia, etc.
The opening ceremonies were led by USSSA President Jacob Richter in tandem with the Executive Chairman of the International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT), Mr. Benny G. Sumarsono. Mr. Richter expressed satisfaction in how this event has brought people together to take the next step toward growing pencak silat in the USA.
Following that theme, Mr. Sumarsono conveyed that this occasion signifies that Pencak Silat has been accepted by the world community. He added that he hopes to see more events like this in more countries around the world and hopes that the United States will one day play host to the World Pencak Silat Championships.
A ceremonial gong was rung to mark the opening of the competition. The gonging was carried out by honored guest Mr. Sandi Suwardi Hasan a representative from the Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Sandi expressed his pride and respect in seeing this sport from his home country in the USA -- stating to the audience that “He hoped pencak silat will grow as a sport industry around the world. He also shared words from Mr. Imam Nahrawi, the head of the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
“The Indonesian government is seriously campaigning to make Pencak Silat an Olympic Sport by 2032 where we hope pencak silat can be contested by all parties. I hope pencak silat will be loved by the whole world,” he said.
Sandi asserted that before this can happen there still needs to be at least 20 other countries that establish associations that have each been recognized by their national olympic committees (NOC). Beyond this goal, Sandi looks forward to a future feature pencak silat in professional competition and in electronic games.
After his speech Sandi struck the gong alongside Mr. Sumarsono and Mr. Richter to officially open the ceremony, which was followed by loud applause from the audience.
The opening USA Pencak Silat Championship 2019 ceremony continued with cultural performances including pencak silat, gamelan and topeng tari. The teams from each states’ delegation gave pencak silat demonstrations. Gamelan (a traditional bronze percussion ensemble) music was played by Americans who had studied in Indonesia. (*)