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NOCC plans three tourneys

Field hockey, triathlon and Khmer chess competitions to be held

IN an announcement on its Web site, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) has expressed the need for sponsors to help organise field hockey, triathlon and Khmer chess sporting competitions in the Kingdom this year.

Vath Chamroeun, general secretary of the NOCC, told the Post by phone that these events will help promote the sports domestically and also attract sponsors to ensure their continued operations. “We need participation from athletes, but we also want to strengthen cooperation with sponsors interested in sports promotion,” he said.

Field hockey has been played in Cambodia since 2004, when former Pakistan captain Asif Maqsood Rana was appointed national team coach. In February 2005, Phnom Penh hosted the first-ever hockey tournament at the Olympic Stadium, in which the national team defeated Yamoto Club, comprised of students from eight universities in Japan.

With technical support from Asif Maqsood Rana, the NOCC will host the seventh edition of the hockey tournament from February 28 to March 2. “I hope that the tournament will play at Olympic Stadium, but we are currently still uncertain about that,” stated Vath Chamroeun, adding that numerous teams have registered, mostly featuring expatriates living in Cambodia, and that only one Cambodian team had been entered, by a local NGO.

The Triathlon Federation of Cambodia was formed in 2008 after a split from the Amateur Swimming Federation. Last year, the first-ever competition was organised in Kampot province.

“The NOCC recently received an agreement from the Council of Ministers to organise this [triathlon] event annually in Siem Reap province in collaboration with a Japanese company,” revealed the secretary. “Triathlon has a strong connection between sport and tourism, so it’s important for us to attract Cambodian people and foreigners to participate in this event.”

The competition, to be held March 21 around the Angkor temple complex, will feature a 40-kilometre cycling route, 10-kilometre running course, and a 1.5-kilometre swim in the West Baray reservoir.

“The funds generated from different sources for this event will be used for charity,” said Vath Chamroeun.

The NOCC is also seeking sponsorship for what it intends to brand as the Samdech Techo Khmer Chess championship. In 2008, Cambodia held its inaugural tournament, but according to Vath Chamroeun, it was done without any standardisation of rules.

“The players are from different regions, and they have different methods of playing, so we decided to set up a common rule for them,” remarked the sports official. “I hope that the players from different villages in the Kingdom will participate in this event, which we will organise in March or April.”

According to the general secretary, the NOCC plans to offer a US$5,000 cash prize for the winner, the runner-up would collect $2,000, and $1,000 would go to third. However, Vath Chamroeun said, these are not guaranteed amounts and could increase or decrease depending on sponsorship.



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