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‘Grand’ opening and closing ceremonies planned for 2023 SEA Games

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
CAMSOC members go through their plans for the closing and opening ceremonies of the 2023 SEA Games. KT/Yuen Punlue

Cambodian sports officials are planning ‘grand’ opening and closing ceremonies for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.

Members of the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) led by Tourism Minister Thong Khon met on Tuesday at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) headquarters in Phnom Penh to go through the details of their plans.

Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of NOCC, said they want them to be ‘spectacular’ events that reflect the Cambodian culture. According to him, the two ceremonies will combine and harmonise Cambodian culture and modern technology.

“This will be the first time for Cambodia to host the SEA Games. We want people from other countries in Southeast Asia to see and admire the culture we have here,” he stressed.

Artistic and cultural performances involving Cambodian dancers, martial artists and others are expected to feature prominently during the opening and closing ceremonies.

Cambodia was supposed to host the region’s biggest sports event (then known as Southeast Asian Peninsular Games) in 1963, but the political situation at that time prevented such from pushing through. Cambodia has to wait for 64 years before it can host the SEA Games.

The NOCC official disclosed that China will assist them with the preparations. He said that Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, who is also the chairman of CAMSOC, agreed that they should work with the Chinese side on that.

“A technical team from China is coming in December to help us carry out our plans for the closing and opening ceremonies,” he pointed out.

Cambodia’s hosting of the SEA Games has the strong support of its giant neighbour.

The Chinese Government is financing the construction of the $170 million Morodok Techo National Sports Complex. The 55,000-seat stadium will host the main events of the 2023 SEA Games. Aside from that, the East Asian country is also helping train Cambodian athletes, coaches and technical officials.

Chamroeun said their target is to have a detailed plan of the closing and opening ceremonies by the beginning of next year.  He said that training and rehearsals will start by mid-2021 until 2023.

“This will involve a lot of people. We need a lot of time to prepare them well,” he stressed.

Figures released by the NOCC earlier revealed that more than 10,000 Cambodian athletes, students, youths and performers will take part in the opening and closing ceremonies.

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