The Cambodian government has made a financial allocation of around 6 billion riel ($1.5 million) for the organising of the second National Games from May 25 to June 5, according to sources familiar with budgetary provisions.

While this huge amount covers the running of the Games, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia is expected to spend an additional $600,000 on the grand opening and closing ceremonies at Olympic Stadium.

The second edition of the nationwide competition, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in association with several other state agencies, will involve 27 disciplines spread across 278 events to be held in Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep and Kampong Cham.

Fifteen cities and provinces have already registered to enter the Games, which will serve as a stress test for participating federations and a trial of strength for athletes aspiring to represent the Kingdom in their sport.

The funding is a marked increase on the 4 billion riel spent on the inaugural National Games held two years ago across 15 disciplines, according to Hun Samuth, the director of the Ministry’s Physical and Sports Department.

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Dr Hang Chuon Naron has characterised the Games as a symbol of peace and development.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Thong Khon said the Games offer the perfect stage to assess the skill and performance levels of the country’s athletes to develop better competitive standards for when the Kingdom is represented in regional and international events.

As many as 284 gold, 584 silver and 703 bronze medals will be up for grabs during the event.