2023 is an opportunity, says elite IAAF coach

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Günter Lange serves as senior manager for Education at the IAAF’s Development Department.​ KT / Yeun Punlue

Coaches from 45 national sports federations participated yesterday in a special training course on sports development strategy chaired by an elite coach from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) .

Günter Lange, who serves as senior manager for Education at the IAAF’s Development Department and is senior development expert at the DOSB, sat alongside National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) secretary general Vath Chamroeun in a seminar entitled ‘Sports Special Training Development Strategy 2019-2023’.

“The reason I am here is because of the cooperation between Cambodia and German government in the field of sports, he told attendees. “Before coming here I had done a little bit of homework to prepare myself. But I have been in Southeast Asia for 18 years, he added.

“So I have not been in Cambodia before but I have been in the neighbourhood. I have seen Cambodia at the SEA Games and have seen their level.”

Mr. Lange also expounded on his impression that the kingdom was on the cusp of a major breakthrough in sport.

“I have the idea that Cambodian sport, as in other areas, is experiencing what I call ‘Bamboo growth’, he said. “The idea that for a long time the plant does not seem to grow but then there’s a growth spurt. There is an opportunity with the 2023 SEA Games and the German government would be pleased to help.”

NOCC executives have targeted medals for the 2023 SEA Games and among the priorities is the Cambodian martial art of Bokator, which the kingdom intends to include at the SEA Games, as well as wrestling, taekwondo, and others.

Popular sports like football, volleyball and basketball will be among those sports in which Cambodia will be striving ahead of 2023.

“These types of sports are a priority for the SEA Games in 2023. Therefore, these athletes are absolutely ready to prepare for medals,” said Mr. Chamroeun.

“Plans set by the NOCC and the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will help them meet targets.”

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