Secretary of state for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Vath Chamroeun, encouraged student athletes who achieved medals at the 2023 National Primary School Competition to nurture their talents and abilities, aspiring to reach national-level athleticism in the future.

“Gold, silver, and bronze medalists, please continue your sporting endeavors, sharpen your skills, as only you have the potential to evolve into national-level athletes and future instructors of physical education and sports,” he said.

“We all need to put in great effort to set our goals with the hope of attaining success in life. Therefore, athletics serve as an essential tool, offering us health, friendship, and solidarity on our journey towards success,” he continued.

Chamroeun attended the closing ceremony of the competition on September 10 at the Olympic Stadium, where junior and high school students from across the country competed in sporting events, which attracted over 3,250 delegates, coaches, and athletes representing 24 provinces and Phnom Penh.

“I commend all parties for effectively organising this competition and fostering fond memories, unity, and camaraderie among participants, under the guidance of our leaders and teachers. Notably, the organising and technical committees ensured the seamless execution of the games,” he stated.

From September 2 to 10, students participated in events including football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, table tennis, WT Taekwondo, ITF Taekwondo, boules, petanque, Kun Lbokator, swimming, and karate.

The team representing Phnom Penh secured first place, earning a total of 28 gold, 15 silver, and 15 bronze medals. They were followed by Kandal with 10 gold, 14 silver, and eight bronze medals, Battambang with 10 gold, 12 silver, and 17 bronze medals, Siem Reap with nine gold, seven silver, and 12 bronze medals, and Kampong Cham with six gold, 10 silver, and 12 bronze medals.

Athletes from Kampong Speu, Preah Sihanouk, Pursat, Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum, Stung Treng, Koh Kong, Kampong Thom, Pailin, Kampot, Banteay Meanchey, and Ratanakkiri provinces secured a variety of medals.

Meanwhile, competitors representing Preah Vihear province earned one silver medal, while Oddar Meanchey, Kratie, Mondulkiri, and Kep provinces also secured bronze medals.

During the ceremony, Huot Seng Try, director of the ministry’s Department of Sports Event Management, said: “This year’s competition differed from the previous year, as certain provinces that did not secure medals have now succeeded”.

Regarding the 12 events, Seng Try pointed out that athletes encountered stiff competition as each sport demands physical, mental, and skillful exertion.

“The players adhered to the rules with love and sportsmanship, demonstrating their deep grasp of ethics and their strong connections to solidarity and fraternity. This sets a positive example for our nation’s future,” he added.