The 2018 National University Games was inaugurated at the Olympic Stadium with Sar Sokha, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), among delegates attending the opening ceremony of the annual student competition.
This year, 22 higher education institutions from six provinces are taking part in six sporting events including, football, basketball, volleyball, and athletics. The competition got underway last Thursday and will conclude on Friday.
Mr. Sokha noted that in the recent years, Cambodia’s sporting sector had shown remarkable growth and success. He told athletes that respecting match officials was important and encouraged fair play.
“I request all athletes to follow the instruction of the referee, said Mr. Sokha, a son of Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng. “Losing a game does not mean we give up and stop playing and it is important to be understanding to each other, he said. “Sports are good for all ages and enable the participant to increase physical and mental capacity.”
Sport has been key in the Royal Governments attempts to increase the Cambodian success. The Education Ministry in March announced it planned 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, Education Minister Hang Choun Naron said the university would be devoted to developing 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 explain it was part of an initiative to discourage youth from indulging in drugs and gambling.