PM to address SEA Games meeting

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with Cambodian athletes before the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam in April. COUNCIL MINISTERS

With the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) to be hosted by Cambodia approaching, a high-profile meeting of the SEA Games Federation Council, set to be attended by representatives of all ASEAN nations, will be held in Phnom Penh on July 11-13.

The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) will host the meeting on the biennial multi-sport event, with the council’ sister event – the ASEAN Para Games – held alongside.

CAMSOC officials confirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen would present special opening remarks to the ASEAN representatives to ensure they received the warmest of welcomes, ahead of the Kingdom’s historic hosting of next year’s games.

“On the opening day of the meeting, July 11, [Hun Sen] will make a special statement and welcome the delegates of the member nations of both games’ councils. He will also speak about Cambodia’s great potential as hosts,” said CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun.

The CAMSOC Standing Committee held a special June 22 meeting under the chairmanship of Minister of Tourism Thong Khon – in his capacity as NOCC president and CAMSOC permanent vice-president – to prepare for the council’s meeting next month.

At the first council meeting, held in Siem Reap last April, Cambodia made great strides and incorporated the sport of Bokator into the SEA Games for the first time. The majority of the representatives at the meeting also agreed to include 39 other sports in next year’s games.

As the host country, Cambodia will submit a meeting agenda, which will include any additions or alterations to the 2023 games sporting lineup.

Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, in his capacity as chairman of CAMSOC, said all parties need to ensure the meetings run smoothly and garner the support of all members.

“As a work strategy of CAMSOC, [Tea Banh] has made recommendations to speed up our plans. A key strategy of CAMSOC is ensuring that we have the clear support of all council members,” said Chamroeun.

“This is an important stage of planning. We want to secure full support for our goals. Whether we want to add any sports or alter the format of one part of the competition, we will need to make our case clearly and simply. As the hosts of the meeting, I am sure none of the member nations will have any problem recognising the points we will raise,” he added.

The 40 sports that were officially announced at the April meeting of the SEA Games Federation Council in Cambodia are Athletics (Track and Field, Marathon); Aquatics (Swimming, Diving, Water Polo); Badminton; Basketball (5x5 and 3x3); Boxing; Billiards; Cycling (Road Race and MTB); Canoe and rowing (including traditional boat race); Chess (Ok Chaktrong, Asean and Xiangxi); Dance Sports; Fencing; Football; Golf; Gymnastics (Aerobic and Artistic); Hockey (including indoor); Judo; Karate; Muay; Petanque; Sailing.

The 20 other sports are Sepak Takraw (including Chinlone); Soft Tennis; Tennis; Table Tennis; Taekwondo WT; Triathlon (including Aquathlon and Duathlon); Volleyball; Wrestling; Weightlifting; Wushu; Arnis; BodyBuilding; E-sports; Floorball; Jiu Jitsu; Jetski; KickBoxing; Kun Bokator; Vovinam; and Martial Arts Korea.

Other sports, including cricket, equestrian and fencing, will have to wait for the final decision of the council to be made at the July meeting.