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NOCC chief pitches for SEA Games village

Cambodia’s ongoing preparations for the 2023 SEA Games drew praise from the SEAGF Council on Friday as National Olympic Committee of Cambodia President and Tourism Minister Thong Khon made a strong pitch for building a proper games village when the Kingdom hosts the 32nd edition six years from now.

Wishing the Cambodian athletes a good run in the Games during his visit to the team headquarters at Hotel Sunway Putra in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, the NOCC chief called on them to give their best and make the country they are representing proud. But of greater significance was his stance on infrastructure development.

He touched upon the inconvenience for competitors staying in hotels like in Kuala Lumpur now and Singapore two years ago instead of traditional Games villages for the multi-discipline Games.

“We are learning a lot from these Games for 2023. We will partner with real estate companies to build a proper Games village when we play host,” Khon said.

In his address, Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron echoed Khon’s sentiments on the need for good all-round preparations.

He noted that through the efforts of the Sports Department, the country’s athletes are well prepared.

The minister, however, pointed out a lack of human resources when it came to coaching, suggesting that, through partnership with countries like Malaysia, Singapore and China, overseas training could be arranged for Cambodian hopefuls.

Chuon Naron assured the gathering that his ministry would intensify athlete development programmes to prepare young athletes for the 2023 edition, given that the time at hand is just six years.

Cambodian Ambassador to Malaysia Rath Many and NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun were among the top dignitaries attending the event.

Meanwhile, confusion over the 2019 Manila Games was cleared up by Jose Cojuangco Jr, the president of the Philippines National Olympic Committee (PNOC).

Cojuangco insists that the PNOC and the Philippine government will host the 30th SEA Games. The Philippines last staged the Games in 2005.

Vietnam also confirmed that the 31st Games in 2021 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City.

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