Ingmar De Vos, president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), commends the Cambodian Equestrian Federation (CEF) for its efforts to promote equestrian sports in the Kingdom.
He noted the capable Cambodian athletes and coaching staff, and offered his admiration for the high-quality training facilities which are available.
De Vos, along with FEI vice-president Jack Huang, met with the CEF leadership, coaches and sportsmen and women at the Genius Resort equestrian centre in Phnom Penh on January 29.
“We have long supported the CEF’s development, backing programmes which have trained coaches, sportspersons, grooms and stable hands. We were elated to hear that a Cambodian rider claimed gold at a recent international event in Thailand,” said De Vos.
De Vos and Huang also showed keen interest in the facilities at Genius Resort, located in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune.
“We are really excited that Cambodia has an international- standard field and qualified coaches, especially now that there are so many young athletes training here,” said De Vos.
CEF president Mona Tep explained that the federation has received plenty of support from the FEI.
“In the past, we lacked capable grooms and trainers, but with the help of the FEI, we were able to establish a vocational training programme,” she said.
She added that the CEF is collaborating with Just World International to train 20 impoverished female youths at the People Improvement Organisation (PIO) in Phnom Penh. The training is scheduled to begin in mid-February, with the youth to be offered chances to groom horses at the centre.
Along with CEF secretary-general Princess Norodom Nanda Devi and the FEI delegation, Tep met with Senior Minister Thong Khon, head of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), on January 30.
During the meeting, Khon noted that he has paid close attention to the development of equestrian sports in Cambodia. He added that he would examine the possibility of including the sport in future regional-level competitions, such as the 2029 Asian Youth Games, which the Kingdom will host. Before this could happen, he explained that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) would need to conduct a thorough assessment.
He also requested that the FEI continue to support the development of the Cambodian federation.
“The fact that the team claimed bronze at the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia and gold at last year’s SEA Youth Cup in Thailand proves they are future potential medal winners. We should definitely determine how we can enter more regional events,” he added.
“During our visit, we have been considering the best we can contribute to the development of the sport in Cambodia. I commend the CEF for its commitment to growing the sport,” said De Vos.