Following its record gold medal haul at the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh, the Ju-Jitsu Federation of Cambodia (JJFC) has intensified the training of match officials, including referees and judges. 

The federation has one eye on the future of the sport within Cambodia, and one eye on the accuracy of the judging it will be able to provide when the Kingdom hosts the 5th Asian Youth Games in 2029.

A three-day workshop for match officials was held from December 3-5, at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC). The training was funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE).

Forty-two trainees attended the training course, where they were taught by five instructors: Jasper Martijn Pass, Michael Bradin Castine, Kong Mona Mithora, Nhem Reaksa and Khun Lang Chou. Thirty eight trainees passed the final day exam.

JJFC president Seng Bunsong addressed the closing ceremony of the workshop.

“This training was extremely important. We need to enhance the capacity of our match officials so they can umpire national and international-level matches. They must all be well-prepared for the 5th Asian Youth Games 2029, which will be hosted by Cambodia,” he said.

He reminded the trainees that they must score all competitions in a just and transparent manner, noting that they must not allow their emotions to affect their judgement, as this would not allow the sport to move forward.

“As arbiters, you have to respect discipline and ethics when umpiring a game. You have to avoid making a decision based on your fear, or friendship, or even hatred of a competitor. You must remain impartial, and avoid poor decision making, whether due to ignorance or even bribes,” he said.

“If you cannot judge a match fairly and without prejudices, you will not become good referees or judges. You will be poor examples for the younger generation, and you will not contribute to the development of the sport,” he added.

GDCE deputy director-general Hour Someth shared his admiration for the Kingdom’s ju-jitsu athletes. He recalled that they won an unprecedented three gold, five silvers and one bronze at the SEA Games 2023, and an additional three gold, 11 silvers and seven bronzes at the AFG Open Tournament 2023, held in Thailand last October.

“We take great pride in the achievements of our sportsmen and women, especially their medal-winning performances at the SEA Games and other international competitions. Their victories show the rapid growth of ju-jitsu in Cambodia, especially ahead of the 2025 SEA Games, which will take place in Thailand, and the 5th Asian Youth Games 2029,” he said. New dyke ends floods, transforms Prey Veng