Prey Veng town and province was the scene of one leg of a global initiative on October 1, when approximately 500 participants took part in TAFISA World Walking Day – 24-hours Around the Globe.
TAFISA – The Association For International Sport For All – is a Swiss-based multinational organisation which partners several institutions – including the UN and the International Olympic Committee (OIC) – to promote the importance of physical activity around the world.
The event was attended by Prey Veng lawmaker Ouk Sethycheat and provincial governor Sourn Somalin. It featured a 1,500m walk, followed by numerous other games and fun activities.
This was the first time it had been observed in Cambodia, with the Kingdom joining more than 100 countries around the world in the inclusive 24-hour relay. Events began at 10am local time in each location.
Pon Sok – acting director-general of sport at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport – noted that World Walking Day was first established by TAFISA in 1991 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, home to the IOC headquarters. The day uses simple forms of exercise, such as walking, dancing, cycling or running, to celebrate sports for all, and fight the global crisis of physical inactivity.
Sethycheat said he was pleased to have brought the event to Cambodia. “Over the past three decades, millions of participants in 160 countries have made it a habit to get together every Sunday in the first week of October.”
According to TAFISA, in 2020, as the world was facing the global pandemic which disrupted societies, grassroots sports and health systems, as well as governments worldwide, it believed that the world needed to come together and be united, hence the “World Walking Day Relay – 24-Hours Around the Globe”.
In 2020, tens of thousands of people from 65 countries participated, starting at the North Pole (Antarctic) to the westernmost confines of the American continent, before passing through Oceania, Asia, Europe, and finally to Africa.
Last year, 88 countries from six continents officially participated in the second World Walking Day. This year, the event has expanded even further.