Prime Minister Hun Sen made it clear that Cambodia’s hosting of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023 is not a separate matter for the government or the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), but rather a national affair.
He commended the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and all stakeholders for their hard work in their respective fields on the journey to hosting the historic multi-sports event.
“We have also received support from China, where several of our athletes have been training. We have also sent some to Japan, and other countries, to prepare. It is important to remember that winning medals is one thing, but it is our management of the games that is the most important thing,” he said.
Addressing more than 2,000 university graduates earlier this week, Hun Sen called on the public to make sure they maintain high standards of cleanliness ahead of the games.
“It is not just the places that will hold competitions, including Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, but the whole Kingdom that should be clean and ready to welcome our international guests. It is not just athletes, but their supporters who will visit. Many of them will visit different provinces in addition to the sporting events. In addition, I expect many Cambodians who live abroad to return home. They will be able to celebrate Angkor Sangkran during the Khmer New Year and attend the SEA Games,” he said.
He added that successfully hosting the games will require the whole nation to work together.
“While the national sporting federations are training the athletes in each sport, we must all prepare for this historic event. We have been looking forward to this for 64 years,” he said.
“I would like all Cambodians to join in out of national pride. The games are not a matter for the government or the Cambodian People’s Party, but for our people,” he added.
“Athletes from 12 sports, including athletics, swimming, gymnastics, judo, wushu, basketball, table tennis, badminton, wrestling, weightlifting, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball are training hard in China. The Chinese people and authorities are taking excellent care of the 161 national representatives who are in training camps in Nanning and Kunming cities,” said Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of CAMSOC.
He recently led a delegation to inspect the Chinese training facilities.
“I am pleased to report that the Chinese are paying close attention to the training of our athletes. The standards of their facilities are impressive, and our disciplined athletes are improving remarkably,” he said.
“Their accommodation is also excellent, with several of our competitors staying in five-star hotels. Their diets are carefully matched to their training requirements,” he added.
With the high tech training facilities and coaching, Chamroeun is optimistic that Team Cambodia will improve on their results from previous games. The athletes will return home in late April, ahead of the May 5-17 games.