Coaches, competitors and administrators from 18 federations involving Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines will gather at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh on March 1 to mark the Kingdom’s first Sports Integration Day.
“This is an Education Ministry initiative aimed at harmonising the functions of the various federations so a common viable strategy can be evolved to promote sports country-wide,” Ouk Sethycheat, director of National Sports and Training, said in an exclusive interview with the Post.
“Some federations are doing very well, some are not. We have realised that [an ad hoc approach] in any form is counter-productive, so the idea is to unify the federations to ensure a co-ordinated approach.”
The ministry official noted that National Olympic Committee of Cambodia president Thong Khon had set some specific targets in the next four years during his address at the NOCC general assembly last Wednesday.
“To meet them, we need a cohesive strategy, and to come up with such a plan we need all the federations to work together,” he said.
“Our showing in multi-discipline events like the SEA Games continues to be disappointing as far as team performances go. We also need to make progress in some Olympic disciplines.
“Our medals have so far come from individuals in non-Olympic events with strong indigenous roots – like Vovinam, for example.”
The sports director, who also serves on the executive committees of the football and basketball federations, expressed his full backing of disciplines where Cambodia has a proven record, while contending that doing well in other areas was also vital.
As a forerunner to the March 1 assembly, a one-day orientation program for coaches will be held next Monday.