In keeping with the tradition he himself had pioneered more than a decade ago, Prime Minister Hun Sen accorded a warm reception to the SEA Games-bound Cambodian contingent at the Council of Ministers building yesterday morning.
It has now become customary for athletes and officials heading for major sporting events to receive blessings from the prime minister, who had a surprise packet in store for the 276 member squad this year.
Wishing the country’s sports men and women great success in the Games, the PM announced a personal gift of $500 to each member of the contingent. It marks an increase of $200 from the amount he had given away ahead of the SEA Games in Singapore two years ago.
Of the 276 delegates attending the Malaysian Games, 179 are athletes. The teams will depart in batches with the National football team leaving Phnom Penh on August 10.
Most of the other teams already in training camps abroad will fly directly to Malaysia. The rest of the squad will leave on August 16.
The Team Welcome Ceremony in Malaysia is set for August 17, with the official Opening Ceremony scheduled for August 19.