Minister of National Defence Tea Banh, who also heads the national committees for organising the upcoming 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games (CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC), provided 2,708,600,000 riel (approximately $675,000) in government incentives to award medal winners from the 11th ASEAN Para Games 2022 in Indonesia.

The awards ceremony was held on March 13 at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh.

Tea Banh commended the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia (NPCC), National Sports Federation, coaches and athletes for training hard and entering the competition to win medals, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This success shows that the sports sector for the disabled in Cambodia has been growing remarkably, with great progress in terms of the quality of athletes,” he said.

“The government has been paying close attention … especially sports for the disabled. We encourage the support of all Cambodians and the match events have brought experience, friendship, patriotism, solidarity and cooperation with other countries,” he added.

The 11th ASEAN Para Games was held in Solo, Indonesia, from July 30 to August 6, 2022. Cambodia sent 115 disabled athletes in 11 sports to enter the competition, led by Hun Many, the prime minister’s son who is head of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC).

As a result, the Cambodian para-athletes won seven gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze medals, ranking seventh out of 11 countries.

The gold medallists received 40 million riel ($10,000) each, while the silver medallists received 30 million riel each and the bronze medallists 16 million riel each.

Tea Banh said he expected that Cambodia’s disabled athletes will be able to win more medals when Cambodia hosts this year’s ASEAN Para Games.

“I thank the leadership, the technical officers at all levels, as well as the coaches and athletes, for bringing a glorious victory at the 11th ASEAN Para Games. I also expect that the 12th ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia will get even better results,” he said.

Tea Banh emphasised that it is necessary for everyone to continue to make maximum effort to use available resources to increase capacity according to their respective roles and responsibilities.

“The success of the implementation of the master plan to host the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games requires the participation of all relevant sides, including civil servants, members of the armed forces, the public and private sectors, and sports organisations.

“However, it must be done under the supervision, implementation and evaluation of CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC, the NPCC and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, as well as other relevant institutions,” he stated.