Senior Minister Thong Khon, head of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), encouraged the second-mandate executive committee of the Cambodia Bowling Federation (CBF) to plan strategies to develop the sport and enhance the quality of the Kingdom’s bowlers in preparation for international competitions, especially the upcoming 33rd SEA Games, which will be held in Thailand.

Even though the Covid-19 pandemic meant the first-mandate committee was unable to develop the sport as they had hoped, Khon expressed his admiration for the efforts they made during their four-year term.

The CBF held a December 13 assembly of the first-mandate committee at the National Olympic Stadium. The CBF elected the members of the second-mandate committee for 2024-27. Following the vote, Ly Seang Hong retained his position as head of the CBF.

Seang Hong noted that during the 2019-23 mandate, the federation had done its best to promote the sport.

“I commend the executive committees of the CBF, as well as the associations and bowling clubs in Phnom Penh and the provinces, for working together to strengthen and expand the sport of bowling in Cambodia, in an attempt to grow it to the same level as several other countries in the region,” he said.

He urged the second-mandate committee to find more effective ways of developing the sport.

He recommended that they prepare a strategic plan, with a clear vision, mission, goals and strategies, as well as clear indicators they could be assessed. The CBF should also strengthen its governance in line with the International Olympic Committee’s universal principles, including transparency, accountability, democratic processes, solidarity and autonomy.

“At the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, we failed to include bowling because the sport is still new. However, it will be contested at the SEA Games in 2025 in Thailand,” he said. 

“We held this assembly at the right time. We have to lay out clear plans for human resource development, because the 2026 Asian Games could see bowling introduced if we work closely with the hosts, Japan,” he added.

He urged the CBF to expand the number of bowling clubs, suggesting that they also need to increase youth participation and develop the Kingdom’s bowling infrastructure, in terms of quantity and quality. In addition, the federation must train match officials to ensure that domestic and international matches that take place here are in line with the rules of the International Bowling Federation. 

Chhay Keak, secretary-general of the CBF, echoed Khon’.

“We have to prepare a clear strategic plan and act quickly if we want to be prepared for the SEA Games 2025. We have yet to assemble a national team,” he said.

“Early next year, we will stage a national championship, and then we will request permission from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to assemble a national team. Once we have permission, we will begin training hard, in advance of the 2025 games,” he added.