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Cash allocated for sporting development, SEA Games in scope

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Construction for SEA Games-related projects started in April 2013 with aid granted from China. Courtesy FFC

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) announced it had allocated nearly 3 billion riel (US$750,000) towards more than 40 national sporting federations this year in order to develop the kingdom’s sports sector.

The award was announced by Ouk Sethycheat, Director General of the General Department of Sports at MoEYS, during the closing ceremony of CECS (Coaches Education and Certification System) – Level 1 Course, held recently at the National Olympic Stadium.

According to Mr. Sethycheat, each sporting federation will utilise their budget for the improvement of its human resources, and invest in coaches, referees, etc., administrative development, and the organisation of national level championships. The department hoped the cash would held develop sport both in terms of quantity and quality, as the kingdom gears up for the SEA Games 2023 in Phnom Penh.

Mr. Sethycheat, also President of the Khmer Amateur Athletics Federation, called for partnership of all parties, not only MoEYS and sports federations, but also journalists and stakholders.

“The government invests approximately US$10 million annually in the sports sector,” claimed Mr. Sethycheat.

The 32nd SEA Games in 2023 is scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh and in some provinces including Kampot, Kep, Takeo, Siem Reap, Battambang and Kampong Cham from December 1 to 15, 2023. The

two-week-long event is expected to attract about 10,000 delegates, of them 7,000 are athletes.

After decades of conflict, Cambodia is set to host the competition and the government is planning to spend around $400 million to organise the games.

Construction for SEA Games- related projects started in April 2013 – with aid granted from China – on a 94-hectare lot near National Road 5 in Russei Keo district on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The large sports complex under construction in northern Phnom Penh includes a new multi-million dollar stadium – dubbed the Morodok Techo National Stadium – which will form the centrepiece for 2023. It is estimated to cost about $200 million when completed.

Wang Qunqing, senior engineer and technical director of the project, said the 55,000-seat stadium covers an area of 16.22 hectares in the heart of the 85-hectare Morodok Techo National Sports Complex.

He said the 35-meter-tall stadium will be built in the shape of a sailing ship in which its both prows are 99 meters tall, and it will be encircled by an ancient Angkor-style moat and decorated with Rumdul flower (Mitrella mesnyi), which is the flower representing the national symbol of Cambodia.

He added that the 99-meter-tall prows of the sailing ship-liked stadium will depict the gesture of “Sampeah” (placing both palms together at the mouth level in a greeting or a way of showing respect), which truly reflects Khmer culture and tradition.

Construction of the new main stadium is key to helping the kingdom meet the high international standards demanded for the SEA Games. The Chinese government had agreed to fund Phase 2 of the complex and finance its completion.

The 2019 SEA Games will take place later this year in Manila, Philippines.

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