Cambodia will mark the 100-day countdown towards the 2023 Southeast Asian Games next week, as political and sports leaders appealed to the media to help promote the event to both local and international audiences.
The 100-day countdown for the Games is scheduled for January 25.
CAMSOC, National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and partners also spearhead ceremonies marking the 500-day and 200-day countdown towards the 2023 Games.
The 500-day countdown drew many dignitaries, including top government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, etc. It also featured dances and other cultural performances. The 100-day countdown is also expected to feature the same pomp and grandeur.
Cambodia will host the next SEA Games from May 5 to 17, after more than 64 years of waiting. The 12th ASEAN Para Games will follow from June 3 to 9.
Cambodia has indicated that, unlike Vietnam, it will be able to hold both events, as scheduled.
The 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam was moved to last year. Cambodia’s neighbour to the east also withdrew their hosting of the 11th ASEAN Para Games due to concerns and issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hosting rights for the 11th ASEAN Para Games were later taken over by Indonesia, which successfully hosted it last year, per international media reports.
The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) earlier disclosed that it has lined up a series of activities within the 100-day timeframe leading to the 32nd SEA Games.
There will be Royal Fire Ceremony spearheaded by King Norodom Sihamoni, a meeting of chefs de mission of 11 participating nations, among other activities, in the lead up to the Games, which will be the biggest sports event ever hosted by this Kingdom of 16 million people.
Appeal for media support
In his speech to several thousand local journalists last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to them to help cover and promote the SEA Games and the many activities lined up ahead of it.
“Public and private media institutions should help us cover and promote the 100-day countdown towards the 2023 SEA Games,” he said, while getting the approving nod of the participants representing TV, print and broadcast media outlets.
The Cambodian leader said the media should also cooperate with local authorities as they try to expose and stamp out criminality leading up and during the SEA Games, which is expected to welcome more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and sports officials from Cambodia, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar.
Between 250,000 and 500,000 tourists are also expected for the Games, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
The Prime Minister’s call was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister Tea Banh, who asked the Minister of Information to call on the media, especially television stations, to widely disseminate information about the 2023 SEA Games and its attendant activities.
“It should be broadcast more locally and internationally. We need to inspire a movement and receive more support for it,” said Banh, who is also the president of CAMSOC.