Monday, June 1, 2009

National Sports Competition Held in Kampong Chhnang

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

A total of 1,076 sports players including 318 women from eight cities and provinces throughout the country participated in the National Peoples’ Sports Competition. The events took place from 20th to 31st May 2009 at the Provincial Stadium in Kampong Chhnang province.

The competition was organized by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport in order to promote the ideal of health and wellbeing through “Sport for All”. This is according to Prak Samphors, Director of the Women’s Committee reporting to the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC). She is also the Deputy-Director of Traditional Sports with the Youth and Sports Department in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport.

Samphors said participants have travelled from as far afield as Kampong Thom, Stung Treng, Battambang, Pailin, Pursat, Kratie, Kampong Chhnang and Preah Vihear.

During her telephone interview with the Southeast Asia Weekly, Ms Samphors said the competition would encourage everybody to see sport as an enjoyable way to keep fit. In addition, team work lessons learned on the playing field would help strengthen the quality of human resources in the professional arena.

Samphors said that the competitions would include two levels of participation. The A1 category is reserved for experienced or professional contenders. The A2 competition will be for amateur players.

In total there are eight sporting categories in the competition, including football, volleyball, basketball, the shot-put, archery, the discus, the long-jump and running. There will be gold, silver and bronze medals for first, second and third placed winners, as well as other valuable prizes. These have been provided through the generosity of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

Samphors said that last year’s competition attracted 1084 competitors; she is looking forward to an even greater level of participation in this year’s competition.

Mang Vibol, a member of the Sporting Competition Organizing Committee, said the number of women participated in this year’s competition has increased compared to previous years. He said that last year, 300 women participated in the competitions held in Kampot province. He saw increased levels of participation from female contenders as an illustration of the success of MoEYS efforts to promote a healthy sporting lifestyle.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of welcoming so many female sporting heroines this year,” Vibol said. “It tells me that great advances have been made in the field of gender equality. Naturally, women, the backbone of our society feel perfectly at ease participating in these competitions. Our society does not require them to hold demonstrations and wave placards to gain entry to public occasions. It speaks well for the reality of equality in our nation.” ///

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