The Lao Bowling and Lao Snooker Federations have announced plans to start building new bowling and snooker training centres in Vientiane next month, in preparation for the 25 th SEA Games in 2009.

The federations will spend more than 9 billion kip (US$1 million) to build the two training centres, which are due for completion at the end of the year. Bowling and snooker equipment will be bought from China at a cost of a further 6 billion kip (US$700,000).

“We will organise bowling and snooker events once the centres are built, to select the best players to compete in the SEA Games,” said the President of the Lao Snooker Federation and Secretary to the President of the Lao Bowling Federation, Mr Pasithxay Luangkhot.

The bowling training centre will be of an international standard and consist of 24 lanes. The snooker training centre will have 20 international competition sized tables.

“The Vientiane Bowling Club and the Lao Snooker Federation Club are not up to standard and are too small to stage competitions at the SEA Games level,” said Mr Pasithxay.

In the meantime, the Bowling Federation has invited the best bowling teams from Luang Prabang, Vientiane , Savannakhet and Champassak provinces to participate in the Deputy Prime Minister's Cup, to be held at the Vientiane Bowling Club on February 23, in celebration of the 59 th anniversary of the establishment of the Lao People's Army.

The competition will consist of men's and women's singles tournaments in the open, under-15 and under-19 categories.

“We will select the best bowlers during this event to represent Vientiane at the 8 th National Games in Champassak province in December,” he said.

The Snooker Federation plans to organise a series of friendly men's singles snooker competitions at the federation's club in March.

“In May, we will select the best snooker players at the Vientiane Mayor's Cup to represent Vientiane at the 8 th National Games,” said Mr Pasithxay.

Lao bowling and snooker teams took part in the 24 th SEA Games in Thailand last year but were unsuccessful in their medal attempts.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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