Cambodia’s budding swimmers will be able to make use of state-of-the-art facilities at the Indoor Stadium and Aquatics Centre at the Morodok Techo National Stadium after the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports announced it will allow the public to swim there for free on weekends.
“Swimmers can swim for free between 9am to 5pm and for safety all swimmers are required to wear suitable swimming outfits and personal safety equipment,” reads a statement from the ministry released yesterday.
“We want to encourage talented youngsters from all provinces across the country to get interested in swimming, receive better training to improve their health and perhaps even the opportunity to represent Cambodia in competition,” explained a ministry official.
“The Royal Government through the Cambodian Swimming Federation is working hard to train more athletes and to send athletes abroad for better training.”
The final touches were put on the newly-constructed Indoor Stadium and Aquatics Centre in April 2017, putting an end to phase 1 of the construction of the estimated $150 million Morodok Techo Sports Complex in northern Phnom Penh.
The centre is vital to preparing Cambodia’s athletes ahead of the 2023 SEA Games, which will be hosted in Phnom Penh.
The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia anticipates that the sports complex, along with the main stadium, will be completed in its entirety by 2020 or 2021.
In a bid to boost participation, the Cambodian Swimming Federation organised the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) World Aquatics Day last year with an estimated 1,000 budding swimmers of all ages and abilities taking the plunge in a two-day event.
In competition, Cambodia’s hopes in the pool have recently rested with three-time Olympian Hem Thon Vitiny, the kingdom’s female swimming sensation.
While she failed to qualify from her 50m freestyle heat at the Rio Olympics in 2016, she had the consolation of clocking a national record of 29.37 seconds.
At the London Olympics in 2012, she achieved 30.44 seconds, ranking 57 among the 74 athletes, while in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, she registered 30.60 seconds. She also competed in Beijing 2008 aged only 15.