The Cambodia Wheelchair Basketball Federation (CWBF) held its inaugural general meeting on June 27 – presenting the squads to shoot for gold at the 2023 ASEAN Para Games, being held in the Kingdom for the first time.
The jerseys the men’s and women’s players will wear at the showpiece Southeast Asian multisport event for athletes with disabilities were also unveiled to great fanfare at the event at Prince Holding Group headquarters.
Prince Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Prince Group – stated its delight at the CWBF’s decision to appoint Senior Minister HE Dr Ly Thuch as its next president.
His expertise as first vice president of the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) will be invaluable given many of the new players on both the men’s and women’s teams are landmine survivors, it said.
“I am extremely thankful and humbled to be appointed as the president of the Cambodia Wheelchair Basketball Federation.
“I have been very passionate about helping to develop and lift the sports sector in Cambodia, and it is a great privilege for me to have the chance to lead this team and build on its successes,” said Dr Thuch.
With Prince Holding Group proud backers of the CWBF, the major conglomerate’s chief communications officer Gabriel Tan spoke of the company’s honour at being able to assist.
“In the past, Prince has provided various contributions to help the local sports sector, such as volleyball and football.
“This is our first involvement in empowering people with disabilities, and we are honoured to take part in fostering social inclusion by organising the unveiling of the Cambodia ASEAN Para Games 2023 wheelchair basketball squads,” said Tan.
The glittering event brought together a diverse audience of almost 200 people including government leaders, representatives from international chambers of commerce, local businesses and civil society organisations.
Secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), and the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) Vath Chamroeun, and CWBF secretary-general Muy Seu were among the guests of honour.
The Cambodian wheelchair teams – with their talented and resilient athletes – show great promise, and together with strong support from Prince Foundation and leaders at all levels, the CWBF is confident of success.
When the Cambodian players take to the floor at next year’s Games, they will be wearing newly designed blue, red and white uniforms showcasing the national flag, while a new crest incorporates cultural emblems such as the romdoul flower and Angkor Wat.
CWBF coach Michael Tuon revealed the federation’s new logo, with every motif representing Cambodia, wheelchair basketball – and confidence and optimism regarding the sport and its athletes.
Tuon, a USA Basketball Gold Level and National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) certified coach, said it will be an exciting journey as he leads the Cambodian wheelchair basketball squads into the
“Many of our athletes have overcome obstacles I can’t imagine. They are resilient and will not let anything stop them from pursuing their dreams.
“To help support their progress, we’ve developed a Long-Term Athlete Development plan to ensure our players keep growing and improving. We are excited to see what the future holds,” said Tuon.
New CWBF president Dr Thuch hailed the wheelchair basketball squads for their determination.
“I would like to applaud the efforts and sacrifices made by our athletes. Disability is not incapability.
“They are not disabled by the disability they have; rather, they are abled by the ability they have,” said Dr Thuch.