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ASEAN pledges support for Cambodian Para Games

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Vath Chamroeun (centre), secretary-general of the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), speaking at a July 11 ASEAN Para Sports Federation Council meeting. SUPPLIED

ASEAN pledges support for Cambodian Para Games

All ASEAN countries have expressed their support and commitment to assist Cambodia in hosting the first ASEAN Para Games in 2023. They have pledged to ensure that the event – which will be held after next year’s SEA Games – is a successful tournament.

At a July 11 ASEAN Para Sports Federation Council meeting, Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), confirmed that Cambodia plans to host 12 events and that preparations to the games’ village were underway. The Kingdom showcased the complex and the preparations they had made to welcome the disabled athletes. In response, they received the support of representatives from all ASEAN countries.

“They have unanimously promised to help Cambodia as much as possible when we play host for the first time. We have requested some technical assistance and they are happy to help. They were impressed by how well organised we are ahead of welcoming the athletes, and they expect that the Kingdom’s games will be successful,” he said.

The commitment of the representatives of the 10 countries in the ASEAN region was in line with the calls of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the President of the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia, who asked the bloc’s member countries to support Cambodia as it hosted the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games for the first time in history.

The prime minister spoke at the opening ceremony of July 11’s meeting.

“I call on the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games member countries to provide all possible support for the success of the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games,” he said.

Following the call, the ASEAN Para Sports Federation convened a meeting with representatives of the 11 countries to discuss it. They focused on two main points. One point was on specific cooperation and how roles and responsibilities could be divided, based on the progress that had already been made. The second was an evaluation of the arrangements of the Cambodian hosts. As a result of the discussions, all countries have expressed strong confidence in the Kingdom.

“The AEAN Para Games delegates were honoured when Hun Sen, on behalf of the rotating chair of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation Council, paid particular attention to comfort of the ASEAN Para Games athletes and delegates,” said Chamroeun.

“It is understood that Cambodian has shown that it is ready to host the games. There are only a few details to be ironed out. All of the support makes me proud, and we will put more effort into our arrangements. All nations, as well as the ASEAN Para Sports Federation, have pledged to help the Kingdom, should it be required,” he added.

He revealed that there were proposals from countries that would like to add more events and that some had asked for a reduction in the cost of accommodation and food. Discussions of these issues would be held by specialists at a later date, and their recommendations would be passed on to Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, president of CAMSOC, and Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, permanent vice-president.

“Although we still have to finalise a few minor requests, overall we have received a warm welcome and everything I proceeding according to plan. We initially thought we might have some teething problems while sharing our host mechanisms, but what we achieved was smooth success, and warmth and admiration from all member nations,” he added.

ASEAN Para Sports Federation secretary-general Wandee Tosuwan expressed her pride at Cambodia hosting the games for the first time in its history. The 12th Para Games are scheduled to run from June 3 to 9. They will follow the 32nd SEA Games 2023, which will be held from May 5 to 17.

“We are aware that Cambodia will host the games for the first time and are very proud to see such great preparations. I get the impression that the government and people will provide a warm and genuine welcome to the games. I would like to thank Prime Minister Hun Sen, personally. I am looking forward to coming here next June and hope that all ASEAN nations will join us,” she said, immediately after the meeting.

Min Thein Zan, sports and youth affairs minister and chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Myanmar, was surprised by the rapid development of sports infrastructure in Cambodia. He and the other delegates were given extended tours of the National Olympic Stadium and the newly built Morodok Techo National Stadium which would be used for the 2023 SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.

“Cambodia has developed a lot – I am impressed by this country. This is my first time visiting, and I have seen a lot of tall buildings, beautiful stadiums and lush football fields. I am really excited to experience the games here,” he told media.

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