The NOCC delegation of President Thong Khon (C), Secreatary-General Vath Chamreoun (L) and Advisor Ken Gadaffi attend the OCA General Assembly in Macau November 8, 2012. Photograph supplied
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has promised Cambodia sustained logistical and financial support over the next few years to augment the Kingdom’s sports development resources.
The OCA will be lining up two new initiatives while extending its ongoing support for the creation of a state-of-the-art Sports Science and Medicine Centre in Phnom Penh, which is expected to be operational by April next year. The OCA funded the construction of an Aquatics Centre in Kampot two years ago.
Assurances of backing for the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia came from none other than OCA President Sheikh Mohammed Al Fahad Al Sabah during a meeting with NOCC President Thong Khon and NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun on the sidelines of 31st OCA General Assembly in Macau last week.
According to the NOCC, Asian Olympic family members will gather in Phnom Penh next year for the OCA Fun Run to promote harmony and better understanding. “The OCA fun run will be a rare and wonderful opportunity for the NOCC to showcase the progress we have made in the last three to four years and to strengthen working relationships with many of our fraternal member nations,” Vath Chamroeun told the Post yesterday.
“The OCA President, who is also the Chairman of the International Olympic Solidarity Commission and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, was very appreciative of our developmental efforts and he assured us of all possible help.”
OCA funding will also be made available for Cambodia to set up a centre in Siem Reap for women’s sports, a cause the NOCC has championed since 2011.
While Southeast Asia’s focus at the assembly in Macau was clearly on the race between Hanoi and Surabaya for the 2019 Asian Games, the Cambodian delegation, which supported Hanoi, had clearly set its sights on a futuristic agenda of its own.
Apart from meeting several International Olympic Committee field experts, the NOCC top brass managed to earn pledges of support from the Olympic Solidarity Movement in areas of infrastructure development, training programes for athletes and coaches besides administration and human resource development.
NOCC President Thong Khon is understood to have been immensely pleased with all the positives that came out of the trip to the former Portuguese colony.
“It went very well for us and I am happy that the Asian Olympic family is standing by us,” added Vath Chamreoun. “This has certainly inspired us to do more for sports development and prepare us better in achieving our goal of hosting a mega event like the SEA Games.”
The next significant international engagement for the Secretary-General is a trip to Incheon later this month for an organisational preview meeting ahead of next year’s Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games.
This unique event features all of the martial art forms which are not among medal events at the Asian Games.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]