Cambodia begins preparing for its hosting of the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after a successful run in the 2019 Games in the Philippines.
Cambodia harvested a total of 46 medals for its second-best finish in the regional sports competition since rejoining it in 1995. Cambodia did participate in the SEA Games in 1983, 1985 and 1987, but its participation in those periods was mostly token, with only very few Cambodian athletes involved.
On Tuesday, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who is also the chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), presided over the opening of another round of workshops dealing with financial compliance and administrative affairs that was conducted by the 2023 SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC).
CAMSOC is the main body tasked with preparations for the 2023 SEA Games. The workshop dealt mainly with financial procedures and guidelines for athlete development.
The meeting, which was held at the NOCC headquarters, was also attended by Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the NOCC, and representatives of 39 affiliated federations. Mr Chamroeun is also the incumbent secretary-general of CAMSOC.
During the meeting, the Minister reiterated the need for good coordination among the various committees, organisations, federations and others involved in the preparation for the 2023 SEA Games.
He also emphasised the need to spend the budget for sports development wisely and effectively. Cambodia has promised to allot more than $400 million for the 2023 SEA Games.
During a similar gathering in August this year, Mr Chamroeun pointed out that everyone involved, especially the federations, should work together closely to ensure the success of the Games, which will be the biggest international sporting event hosted by the Kingdom.
He said that too much is at stake, including the Kingdom’s legacy. “We must understand that we are now responsible for the nation and our legacy at the SEA Games, so we must join together to reform,” Mr Chamroeun said at that time.
In addition to the workshops, CAMSOC has also created 15 sub-committees to deal with SEA Games-related matters and issues better.
Preparations for the 2023 SEA Games began in earnest six years ago with construction of the Morodok Techo National Stadium and other SEA Games-related projects on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
The Chinese-funded $160 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Phnom Penh will be the venue of most of the sporting events in the 2023 SEA Games, with the provinces of Kampot, Kep, Takeo, Siem Reap, Battambang and Kampong Cham hosting the rest.
Three years from now will mark the first time for Cambodia to host the SEA Games. Cambodia was supposed to host the third edition of the SEA Games (then known as the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games) in 1963, but the event was cancelled because of the political turmoil that engulfed the Kingdom at that time.