Lao government sets policy for Lao SEA Games athletes

Posted by samakomlao Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Photo: A view of the 20,000-seat main stadium currently under construction in Dongsanghin village, Xaythany district, Vientiane . The stadium will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 25 th SEA Games in December (file photo). –Photo Vincent Gautier

To smooth the path for Lao SEA Games' athletes, the government has agreed on a policy that will help athletes and officials continue with preparations but will not jeopardise their situation in school or the workplace.

Under the Prime Minister's agreement, athletes, trainers, volunteers, committee members and staff of various sub-committees involved in the games will receive special dispensation from their employers or schools allowing them to take time off to train or carry out their duties.

Students who have been selected for the SEA Games squad will be allowed to stop classes from the start of preparation until the end of the games. But their schools will have to organise special classes for them free of charge before they take their exams.

Government officials, policemen and soldiers who have been selected as athletes or members of SEA Games organising committees will also be allowed time out from their offices so they can spend the necessary amount of time in training camps and competition.

The government hopes this policy will encourage athletes in their endeavours to make their place in SEA Games history by winning more gold, silver and bronze medals than in previous competitions.

Apart from that, it is a great honour for Laos to host the SEA Games, which will promote sports, boost trade, and develop social, cultural and political activities. The games will also promote peace, friendship and cooperation between Southeast Asian nations and the world.
According to national training camp manager Somphone Manikham, all athletes are currently in training camps with their coaches.

“The main training centre in Sikeuth village, Naxaithong district, now houses 160 athletes training in boxing, wushu, pencak silat, wrestling, track and field, archery and taekwondo. Athletes in other sports are training in different camps,” Mr Somphone said.

At a meeting of the SEA Games Organising Committee on Tuesday reports were presented on the construction of stadiums. The main venue is the 20,000-seat stadium in Dongsanghin village, Xaythany district, which will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies and is now over 85 percent complete. The Chao-anouvong stadium in Anou village, Chanthbouly district, is more than 70 percent complete and will be used for the men's football event.

The SEA Games will take place from December 9 to 18, involving 390 events in 25 sports. Athletes from Laos , Vietnam , Cambodia , Brunei , Thailand , Malaysia , Indonesia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , and Timor Leste will take part.

By Sisay Vilaysack

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