Cambodia hosting the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the first time in its history in 2023 is a proud opportunity for the Kingdom, one with which to demonstrate to the region and the wider world the prosperity and peace the Kingdom enjoys.
Exactly 60 years after missing out on its first chance back in 1963 due to the political situation at the time, Cambodia is gearing up for a successful hosting of the regional sporting extravaganza.
Held every two years with the aim of promoting sport in the region, as well as strengthening friendship and understanding between the nations of Southeast Asia, the SEA Games were first hosted by Thailand in 1959.
Preparing for the hosting of the 32nd SEA Games is one of seven priorities for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).
This article will look at the “National Policy on the Development of Physical Education and Sports Sector”, and the strategies formulated for the successful hosting of Cambodia 2023 SEA Games.
The “Physical Education and Sports Sub-Sector in the Education, Youth and Sport Performance in the Academic Year 2020-2021 and Goals for the Academic Year 2021-2022” report, as well as the results of Cambodian athletes in the 31stSEA Games in Vietnam, will also be examined.
In line with the “National Policy on the Development of Physical Education and Sports Sector”, there is a vision to build good health and wellbeing, physical strength, determination, endurance, perseverance and team spirit.
This aims at achieving excellent results in sporting competitions at the international level and the leading of healthy lives.
The policy lays out the objectives of improving the right to and the opportunities for developing a culture of physical education and sport among all people with the goals of:
• Developing sport for all;
• Developing the physical education and sports sector in all educational institutions and the wider community;
• Sustaining and developing all types of sport;
• Developing high-level sport;
• Developing the sports industry.
To achieve these goals, 13 strategies have been outlined to:
• Develop legal frameworks and mechanisms;
• Promote education, training and capacity development;
• Promote gender equity;
• Develop parasports;
• Develop physical infrastructure and equipment;
• Research and compile documents;
• Preserve the moral value of physical education and sport for all;
• Strengthen news and media systems;
• Strengthen the roles of sporting state and social organisations;
• Refine and strengthen the structures of competition;
• Strengthen international cooperation;
• Promote the sports industry.
For hosting the 32nd SEA Games in 2023, MoEYS has launched a strategy towards the Cambodia Games in the new normal.
This highlights the implementing of mechanisms towards 2023, identifying sports to be included in the Cambodia Games and outlining blueprints for human resource development.
These include training Cambodia’s athletes and disability sports teams for winning medals both domestically and abroad, the contracting of foreign coaches and formulating the 2023 medal-winning strategy.
The strategy for the 32nd SEA Games 2023 has set out a number of measures, such as vaccinating technical officers, coaches and athletes, preparing the national stadium and constructing sports fields.
It also outlines preparing training courses for Cambodian coaches, sending athletes to train abroad and providing the right nutrition according to the energy needs of each discipline.
The strategy calls on national sports federations to organise local competitions and the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) to provide opportunities for participating in regional, continental and global events.
The 32nd SEA Games will feature 547 events across 40 different sports, with the main goals the successful organisation of the competition and the winning of more gold medals.
The 2023 Games – hosted by Cambodia with the motto “Sport: Live in Peace” – is to take place from May 5-17, 2023, across six areas:
• Six locations in Phnom Penh;
• Angkor Wat and Phnom Kulen National Park in Siem Reap province;
• Ochheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville;
• Kep Beach;
• Kampot Water Sports Center;
• Kirirom National Park in Kampong Speu province.
Cambodian athletes have recently returned from competing at the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam, with improved results on the previous edition.
In Hanoi, Cambodia won a total of 63 medals including nine gold medals, 13 silver and 41 bronze medals, ranking eighth out of the 11 competing nations.
At the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019, Cambodia took home four gold, six silver and 36 bronze medals.
This has shown that the physical education and sports sector is growing with the support of coaches and athletes, as well as relevant partners across all fields and development partners.
Cambodia has set the target of ranking fifth out of the 11 competing countries at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia.
For hosting the 2023 SEA Games, the Ministry of Education, CAMSOC, coaches, athletes and partners across all fields must unite.
All parties need to cooperate and do their best in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities in a professional and responsible manner to promote the physical education and sport sector in Cambodia.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport wishes that all athletes achieve their goals and record strong results in upcoming competitions as they ready for the showcase regional sporting event next year.