As contingents and athletes stepped up their final lap of preparation before setting foot in Cambodia in less than three weeks, Phnom Penh announced its readiness to host its first ever 12th ASEAN Para Games Cambodia 2023 (APG 12), which officially opens on June 3.
As the 30-day countdown to the biennial Games started, Cambodia ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (CAMAPGOC) reaffirms its pledge to provide guests with the best experience throughout the week-long para sporting extravaganza, which will see the participation of some 2000 athletes and officials from all 11 Southeast Asian nations.
Promoted under one brand as CAMBODIA 2023 with the 32nd SEA Games 2023, the 12th ASEAN Para Games, scheduled at the newly-built Morodok Techo Sports Complex and other venues around its vicinity, runs from 3-9 June.
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, e-sports makes its debut in the Games, albeit as a demonstration sport.
As with previous host cities of the Games, Cambodia is expected to raise the bar and is all ready to set new benchmarks, on and off the competition arena.
APSF, as governing body of the region’s Paralympic movement, has had direct engagement with CAMAPGOC, the respective National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and
officials to ensure that all organisational preparation adheres to the standard regulations and procedures.
This includes having two series of the APSF-CAMAPGOC Coordination Committee (Co-Comm) meetings, a technical delegate meeting and site visits, press and broadcast briefing as well as the Chef De Mission seminar.
“Admittedly, there are a few challenges in areas including sports, classification, and other technical matters, but it’s understandable as this is the first time that Cambodia is hosting the ASEAN Para Games. APSF and CAMAPGOC have been working closely to find solutions to whatever issue that may arise,” said APSF secretary general senior colonel Dr Wandee Tosuwan.
Senior colonel Dr. Wandee Tosuwan praised Cambodia’s efforts in promoting the Games in the region through various ground and community outreach activities to create interest and awareness amongst the ASEAN population and sporting fans.
“This includes the successful organisation of the torch relay run which started on 21 March in Phnom Penh, which criss-crossed all participating ASEAN countries and was well-received by the fans and the masses in the respective countries.
To further promote and attract interest in the Games, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a “free-for-all” Games which includes waiving entry fees for athletes, officials, and extra officials of the Games.
Dr Wandee said, CAMAPGOC, in a letter dated 2 May 2023, has informed APSF that, following advice from Prime Minister Hun Sen, “CAMAPGOC will no longer charge an Entry Fee for athletes, officials and extra official of the 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023 hosted by Cambodia”.
“The decision by Prime Minister Hun Sen further affirms Cambodia’s commitment to hosting our regional sports family and international guests in a neighbourly environment of solidarity and friendship,” stated the letter, signed by CAMAPGOC Permanent Chairman, H.E. Dr Thong Kon.
Other notable “free incentives” for the Games include providing free tickets for all spectators and granting free live broadcast rights to local and foreign TV networks. Contingents and athletes from participating nations are expected to arrive in Phnom Penh for the 12th ASEAN Para Games Cambodia 2023 from 30 May onwards for the Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM) and the classification process.