A two-day regional forum was inaugurated at the Sokha Hotel yesterday as Phnom Penh welcomed representatives of nearly 30 countries, from East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The Olympic Council of Asia’s Olympic Solidarity/OCA regional forum 2018 was presided over by Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ke Kim Yan, Mr. Haider Farman, Secretary of the Olympic Council of Asia, and Mr. Olivier Niamkey, Regional Director of Olympic Solidarity.
As Cambodia ramps up preparations for the 2023 SEA Games, the Deputy Prime Minister in his address to participants on the opening day called on Olympic committees and sporting organisations to share their experiences of successful hosting of sporting events with Cambodia.
“I hope it [Regional Forum] will be productive and provide a significant source of experience for Cambodia as we prepare to host the 2023 SEA Games,” he told attendees.
The Deputy Prime Minister also encouraged the NOCC to re-organise the forum in five years to showcase Cambodia’s growth. The forum is held every five years, and is the second time that Cambodia has hosted the event.
The Deputy PM’s views were echoed by Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism who stated: “The NOCC are in the process of organising the 2nd National Games, which will take place between May 25 and June 4, said Thong Khon, who is also Chairman of the NOCC. “The purpose of organising a biennial national sporting event is to strengthen the ability of athletes and to gain much-needed experience of hosting and managing major sporting events in preparation for the 2023 Phnom Penh SEA Games.”
The Minister also added that hosting of an Olympic Forum would bring new opportunities for development of the NOCC, and would serve to foster friendly relations with the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Council of Asia, as well as other regional bodies.
“We prepare to welcome the Olympic family to Phnom Penh, the heart of the kingdom of Cambodia, said Mr. Khon. “Through this forum, we will further consolidate the solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the regional Olympic Movement and the International Olympic Committee.”
Cambodia will host the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh in 2023, with construction for SEA Games-related projects breaking ground in April 2013 on a 94-hectare lot near National Road 5 in Russei Keo district on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh.
The large sports complex includes a new multi-million dollar stadium which will form the centrepiece for 2023. It is estimated to cost about $200 million when completed in 2020/2021.
To celebrate the arrival of delegates, Phnom Penh hosts the 3 km and 5 km Asian Games fun run this morning, which is expected to draw over 1,000 budding runners.