As three sailors prepare for their SEA Games debuts in Malaysia next month, the Cambodian Sailing Federation has passed a major milestone by becoming the newest full member of World Sailing.
The sport’s international governing body, based in the United Kingdom, is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
Cambodia joins World Sailing’s vast structure of 140 member national authorities (MNAs), opening itself up to new areas of quality training and access to good equipment and worldwide competition.
The fledgling CSF, formed nearly three years ago, is already a member of the Asian Sailing Federation, and its elevation to full membership with World Sailing will now bring a host of benefits including the much sought after sailing identification, emerging nations programme and other technical services all MNAs are provided with.
“It took us a year to complete the formalities and officially enrol our membership with World Sailing,” said Secretary-General of National Olympic Committee Vath Chamroeun, who is also the vice president of the CEF.
“Now we can look forward to a positive growth and focus on our efforts to make sailing a core sport when Cambodia hosts the 2023 SEA Games.”
At a media conference yesterday morning, Dr Lemmy Teo, adviser to CSF and president of the Windsurfing Association of Singapore, said that, as an emerging nation in sailing, Cambodia stood to gain a lot from the emerging nations programme – the aim of which is to narrow the performance gap and promote worldwide competition.
“We had to align the CSF constitution with that of World Sailing as one of the preconditions regarding its national authority and independence.
“Now that we are part of both the regional and world bodies, we have a favourable wind behind us and can expect to see sailing grow in size and stature,” Teo said.
The World Sailing affiliation will also help in the training of officials for such positions as international judge, international measurer, international race officer and international umpire. The first batch of Cambodian aspirants will embark on these training courses later this year.
Meanwhile, Malaysia-bound windsurfers Sun Heng and Soth Mesa, both of whom are 15 years old, are in the midst of training in Guangdong, China.
The duo will test their skills in an event in Singapore before making their SEA Games appearance. Cambodia’s laser boat entry Duch Bunthoeun will also have a competitive fling in Singapore.