Ready, set, go for athletes' village of 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Monday, August 24, 2009

With construction of the SEA Games village now complete, Vientiane will be ready to welcome the four thousand athletes and officials from South East Asian countries due to descend on the city in December.

The 25th SEA Games will be held in Vientiane from December 9-18. The SEA Games village is located on the grounds of the National University of Laos.

Construction of the village is complete and the Lao SEA Games Organising Committee (LAOSOC) will use extra budget allocations for the purchase and installation of 88 washing machines and 48 dryers.

The Hoang Anh Gia Lai Company from Vietnam granted US$400,000 and loaned US$5 million to the Lao government to build the SEA Games village. The company will officially present the village to the Lao government on September 2.

The Vietnamese government assisted in funding the project, providing more than 35 billion kip (US$4 million) in assistance to the Lao National Sports Committee (LNSC).

The LAOSOC will install many types of furniture and equipment, including air conditioners, electrical equipment and water heaters.

At the moment, they are preparing the venue for the installation of laundry appliances.

The village consists of eight four-storey dormitories. Four athletes can comfortably stay in one room.

The LAOSOC is decorating the village to be both aesthetically pleasing and practical for athletic activities.

Landscaping in and around the village is still being undertaken. The national university will mobilise about 100 volunteers to work at the village during the events.

Vice President of National University of Laos , Professor Lammai Phiphakhavong, said that if the number of visiting athletes does not exceed 4,000, some Lao athletes and officials would be able stay at the SEA Games village.

There are more than 1,840 female and 2,400 male athletes from 11 countries registered to participate in the games. Of this number, Laos has 344 men and more than 300 women competing.

Professor Lammai added that those members of the Lao athletic team and other officials unable to be housed at the village would be accommodated at or near the National Sport Training Centre in Sikeut village, Naxaithong district.

The centre is complete, with accommodation for 250 officials, athletes and trainers. It boasts facilities for boxing, wrestling, archery, martial arts, and track and field training.

Some athletes have been staying at the training centre since last April in preparation for the games.

A training centre official, Mr Saosin Vorabouth, said all sports teams would like to stay at the training centre but space is limited.

He said the LNSC is building an indoor stadium and accommodation for the Lao athletes located near the training centre. The stadium and dormitory construction, funded by a grant from the government of Brunei Darussalam, will be finished in November.

The construction of the training centre began in January 2007 and was completed in December of 2008.

In other developments, Vientiane inked an agreement with Lao World Company last month to provide catering for athletic teams during the games.

By Sankhomsay Bubphanouvong

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