THE flame of the Cambodia SEA Games 2023 may have died off two days ago, but in the coming days, Phnom Penh will once again be on fire with another sporting extravaganza – the 12th ASEAN Para Games Cambodia 2023 — set to turn the Kingdom abuzz with thrills and excitement.
The action begins next week when more than 2,000 para-athletes, officials and guests representing 11 Southeast nations arrive in Phnom Penh in pursuit of regional honours in the biennial Games, just nine months after the conclusion of the 11th edition in Solo, last year.
As their able-bodied counterparts head home to their respective countries, ASEAN para-athletes will be heading for Phnom Penh and expected to arrive in batches, beginning early next week.
The 16-day transition process from Wednesday’s closing ceremony of the SEA Games to the 12th ASEAN Para Games has begun with Games flags, banners and signages currently being installed while Para Games volunteers are called to ensure the successful staging of the first ASEAN Para Games in the Kingdom.
The Cambodia ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (CAMAPGOC) is now in full swing, working closely with the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) to ensure that no stones are left unturned as all 14 venues (including E-Sports as a demonstration sport) being prepared as specified by international technical and athletes requirements.
The Games will feature 13 sports — Athletics, Para-badminton, Boccia, Chess, Goalball, Football-Seven-a-Side, Football Five-a-Side, Judo, Powerlifting, Para-swimming, Table Tennis, Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball. For the first time, Esports makes its debut in the Games, albeit as a demonstration sport.
“The time has arrived…the Asean para community are excited over the prospects of witnessing inspiring performances in Cambodia. APSF Secretariat has been collaborating closely with CAMAPGOC and all National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) of ASEAN since last year, to ensure that preparation in all areas are coordinated accordingly.
Apart from the regular virtual meetings, physical meetings between APSF and CAMAPGOC have also been held since the conclusion of the 11th ASEAN Para Games in Solo…preparations are in place now,” said APSF Secretary-General Senior Colonel Dr Wandee Tosuwan.
This includes the joint APSF-CAMAPGOC Coordination Committee (Co-Comm) meetings, Chef de Mission seminars, Technical Delegates and International Technical Official Meetings, inspection of venues, media and broadcast arrangement, as well as meetings and training courses on Classification, Medical and Anti-Doping.
According to Dr Tosuwan, the 12th ASEAN Para Games in Cambodia is significant and historical in many ways, as it will be the first Para Games to be held in the Kingdom.
Dr Tosuwan also called for the support of local and international media organisations to promote the Games and be the bridge for athletes to reach out to the masses and sporting fans in the region, and beyond.
She added that CAMAPGOC is also in the process of finalising the broadcast aspects of the 12th ASEAN Para Games, live broadcast of the competition, opening and closing ceremonies.
“To further promote our equality and inclusivity agendas, we hope the local and various international media including regional broadcasters as well as the social media community around the region would come up and help in further promoting the Games and achievement of athletes,” said Dr Tosuwan.