Hun Many, president of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), urged the Cambodian public, as well as all state institutions and other stakeholders, to support the national athletes who are preparing to join the upcoming 12th ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia in June.

He noted that Prime Minister Hun Sen considers the Kingdom’s first-time hosting of the June 3-9 games as an important opportunity to support each of the disabled Cambodian athletes who will be fighting for medals on their home soil.

With less than a fortnight until the games kick off, Many took to social media on May 22 to call for the public to get behind the athletes.

“They do not want to be a burden on society – on the contrary, they want to contribute. We must provide them with every opportunity to achieve their medal goals,” he said.

“Winning the right to host the games was a great achievement, and we need to show our support for the athletes’ sacred aspirations. The government has put policies in place to bolster their chances, and we must all do our part to make the games a success,” he added.

Many was assigned by the prime minister to lead the Kingdom’s sporting delegation to the 11th ASEAN Para Games, held in Indonesia. The team broke its previous best-ever medal haul, returning home with seven gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze medals.

As first-time hosts, Cambodia has registered 160 sportsmen and 76 sportswomen for the 14 sports which will be contested at its home games.

The events include sports as varied as judo, decathalon, boccia and e-sports, as well as more traditional events like athletics, weightlifting and wheelchair basketball.

The National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia (NPCC), chaired by the prime minister, has spent more than $1 million to prepare the facilities for the games, in addition to the support provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and the ASEAN Para Games organising committees (CAMAPGOC).

Hun Many, through the UYFC, has also provided accommodation, food, equipment and training equipment for several of the Kingdom’s athletes, according to Yi Veasna, NPCC secretary-general and deputy secretary-general of both CAMSOC and CAMAPGOC.

“We have been cooperating closely with the UYFC to organise food and accommodation, along with specialised racing wheelchairs. Some of these racing machines cost as much as $8,500. Many himself led the working group who organise their purchase,” he added.