The Education Ministry plans to build a university for sports education in a bid to raise sporting standards prior to the Southeast Asian Games hosted by Cambodia in 2023.
Speaking during an annual ministry meeting in Phnom Penh earlier this week, Education Minister Hang Choun Naron said the university will develop talented Cambodian athletes by strengthening the capacity building skills of coaches and trainers.
“Physical education and sport have grown remarkably, and things are changing,” he said. “Cambodia will be the host of SEA Games in 2023, so we need a sport we can excel in, and coaches and human resources, so that we can compete regionally and globally in sporting events.”
Though Mr Naron did not confirm when the university will commence construction, he did mention it is part of an initiative to discourage the public from doing drugs and gambling.
Pon Sok, the director of the National Training Centre, responded pleasantly to the initiative of the Ministry of Education. He said it is about time Cambodia performs well both nationally and internationally in sports.
“With a proper training centre, with coaches and a great education system, Cambodian athletes can compete internationally,” he said. “Just one of these factors could be enough to increase the prospects for our athletes.”
In the 29th Southeast Asian Games, Cambodia managed to snag a total of 17 medals. Those medals included three golds, two silvers, and 12 bronze medals.
In total, Cambodian athletes have brought home 329 medals from international sporting events.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee, confirmed in October that Cambodia will host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games. Construction of SEA Games-related projects started in April 2013.
The government is using a 94-hectare plot of land near National Road 5 on the outskirts of the capital for the projects, which are to cost an estimated $200 million.