BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Six National Disabled Volleyball teams from six countries and international sports officials from nine countries attended the “World Organization of Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD) World Cup 2009” for five days from December 14-19, held at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The teams were from Cambodia, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Canada, and Slovakia.
The Cambodia 2009 WOVD Volleyball World Cup was organized by the Cambodian National Volleyball League (CNVLD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, which is under the patronage of Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, and sponsored by the Cellcard Company. The Opening Ceremony of the World Cup competition was presided over by Lok Chum Teav Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen, President of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC).
President Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen said that the today’s event has encouraged disabled Cambodians to become strong, patient, devoted, and industrious in doing their best for their respective future and well being of their family. Moreover, sports enables us to having good health and strength, and enables human beings to live together harmoniously in peace, safety, solidarity.
“This important event is a powerful symbol of the determination of the Royal Government of Cambodia, in particular the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, in making efforts to extend care and support to address the hardship of the disabled, and this includes the enhancement of the rights of the disabled, to build capacity, protection, and elimination of all kinds of discrimination against them,” said Dr. Bun Rany Hun Sen.
She said the Royal Government of Cambodia has urged the comprehensive integration of the disabled into society through the development of law for the protection and rights of the disabled, encouragement of the respect of law, development of a national plan, and the establishment of a mechanism to urge the acceptance of the disabled in the public and private sector services and other programs.
“Cambodia has supported and encouraged the disabled to actively participate in the sport sector. As a result, Cambodia has become one of the active members of the international community of sports for promoting sports for the disabled,” she said. “I am very proud of the national teams for having made efforts in various competitions and received continuous awards. All these activities have brought you good health, and have added value to your life.”
She pointed out that the Cambodian government has paid attention to disabled people through its socio-economic support policies and cooperation with development partners and national and international NGOs to reduce gradually the number of landmine victims. In the meantime, the Cambodian Red Cross, as the humanitarian organization in cooperation with relevant ministries and institutions, has actively been involved in raising awareness and promoting the respect of traffic laws and other laws aiming to reduce the number of accidents, which result in disability and loss of labor capacity. Besides preventative measures, Cambodia has made utmost efforts to provide support and enhance the rights and ability of the disabled and in particular, the support and encouragement to this Volley World Cup.
The Disabled World Cup is a wonderful example of the successful cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation joining hands with Cambodian NGOs, the Cambodian Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross and Cambodian corporate sectors. All these actors have been working together as a team to assist the Cambodian landmine survivors and persons with disabilities.
“Today’s event is also an important opportunity to celebrate 30 years of the International Red Cross in Cambodia for its humanitarian mission to help the survivors of the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime since 1979, and its wonderful [commitment] to addressing the complex issue related to landmines and remnants of war and its destructive consequences,” she said. “I would like to dedicate the WOVD Volleyball World Cup as an important event turning the tragic past and destruction caused by war to become an opportunity for capacity building, creating talents, establishing and strengthening friendship, solidarity and cooperation.”
Christopher Minko, Secretary General of the National Volleyball League (Disabled), said that the competition of Volleyball World Cup marked the second time Cambodia hosted this event. He added that for the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, the German team won the first medal of the competition while the Slovakian team won second place, and the Cambodian team won the third place.
Relating to the 2007 WOVD Volleyball World Cup, Christopher Minko said that Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen has incentive and funds the Cambodian national disabled team for their competition. He added that, according to the Prime Minister Hun Sen, if the Cambodian national disabled team wins the first class of the WOVD Volleyball World Cup 2009, he will award a total of US$10,000 for each Cambodian player; if they won second place of the competition, he will award US$5,000 for each player; and if they won the fourth class of the tournament they will receive US$2,000 for each player. ////