Cambodia is making strides in preparation for the 2029 Asian Youth Games (AYG), with the Cambodia Gymnastics Federation (CGF) enhancing the skills of grassroots coaches to foster young and qualified athletes.

Despite the AYG being several years away, CGF secretary-general Noy Phana emphasised the importance of early preparations.

“To be successful in this large event, featuring 45 participating countries, Cambodia must start preparing now, much like our approach to hosting the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games earlier this year,” he said.

Under the leadership of Senior Minister Thong Khon, the CGF initiated the 2023 Academy in Aerobic Level 1 + Training Camp on September in Kampong Chhnang province. This programme, supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, attracted 22 participants from various provinces, including eight females.

During the five-day session, participants underwent both theoretical and practical training, with Phana noting the presence of numerous young athletes. He remarked on the flexibility and adaptability of athletes aged 8 to 15.

“This training session is vital to equip teachers from clubs across the four provinces with essential knowledge and skills, as our young athletes require proficient instruction. Athletes in this age group are adaptable if taught correctly, highlighting the necessity for trainers to possess genuine skills to avoid instructional errors,” he added.

The federation is proactively assessing athletes under 15, ensuring early preparations are in place for the upcoming games.

“We need athletes aged under 17 for the 2029 AYG and must be ready from now, or we won’t be prepared in time,” Phana said.

The endeavour by the CGF marks an important step towards nurturing a new generation of gymnasts and ensuring strong representation for Cambodia in future competitions.