The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) expressed their satisfaction with preparations as they began the 200-day countdown to the 32nd biennial multi-sports event in the Kingdom next year.

The countdown will begin on October 17, CAMSOC announced at an October 15 press conference held at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) headquarters.

With less than seven months until the biggest sporting event in Southeast Asia kicks off, Minister of Tourism and CAMSOC permanent vice-president Thong Khon said the committee is on track to make the games a success.

“We are positive that the games will be organised well,” he told reporters at the conference.

Khon added that a lot of the necessary work has already been completed, thanks to the cooperation and support of many institutions, including the Phnom Penh City administration.

He said CAMSOC has identified sports and events that will be hosted, with various venues being repaired or renovated, and all competition venues had now been confirmed. He added that many private companies had bid for the rights to carry out the renovations and provide accommodation and catering to the visiting teams.

Currently being planned is the Torch Run, scheduled for February. King Norodom Sihamoni will officiate the ceremony by lighting the torch. It will then tour the nine other ASEAN nations and East Timor, before returning to the Kingdom, where it will travel through the seven provinces surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake.

CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun said all of the sports and disciplines which will be included have been approved by its leadership and were supported by the SEA Games Federation Council.

The majority of sports venues will be in Phnom Penh, with Morodok Techo National Stadium and its surrounding facilities hosting the majority of events. The Olympic Stadium Centre, Chroy Changvar, Sokha Hotel, and Naga World will also host various sports in the capital.

The venues in use outside of Phnom Penh are in Siem Reap, Kep, Kampot and Preah Sihanouk. Siem Reap will host the road cycling events and the marathon, Preah Sihanouk will host sailing and jet-ski competitions, Kampot will hold traditional boat races and Kep province will host duathlon, aquathon and triathlon.

Ongoing infrastructure upgrades around the stadium will provide a wonderful experience for all Cambodians and foreign visitors during the games, he added.

Pathmazing, the appointed commercial agency for the games, is currently finalising details of sponsorship deals with large international companies.

“Once these major brands come aboard, local companies will follow suit. The arrivals of big brands are a positive image for the games,” he said.

Chamroeun stressed the importance of every Cambodian providing support for the Kingdom’s athletes, including the stars of the PARA Games. He added that there will be a fundraising campaign to support the athletes.

“Anyone can be part of Team Cambodia, with a minimum contribution of $1. Contributions will support upgrading training equipment, footwear, clothes and support for sports science and sports medicine,” he said.

As part of the “I’m Team Cambodia” campaign to support Cambodian athletes, CAMSOC and Pathmazing will launch KhmerCare, which is the first Cambodian crowdsourcing platform. KhmerCare can be downloaded from Google Playstore, Appstore, or through its official website.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will work with the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and the National Sports Federations to organize the National Games on November 21-30. These games are aimed at testing the competencies of the athletes who will participate in next year’s games.

CAMSOC also plans to organise the event ‘Cambodia is Ready’ on January 25. This will mark the 100 day countdown mark, and will showcase officials’ integrated approach to hosting the games.

The 32nd SEA Games will be held from May 5-17, while the 12th ASEAN Para Games will take place from June 3-9. “Sports: Live In Peace” is the slogan chosen, as comprehensive peace is what enables Cambodia to play host for the first time in its history.