SEA Games to tighten Asia nations' solidarity

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, May 17, 2009

Minister to the Prime Minister's Office and President of the Lao National Sports Committee (LNSC), Dr Phouthong Seng Akhom, spoke to media yesterday in Vientiane about the opportunities available to Laos when it hosts the 25th SEA Games later this year.

The event is an opportunity for Laos , as the host nation, to increase solidarity and friendship amongst Southeast Asian nations, he said.

“Of course we'd like to get many medals like previous hosts of the games have, but our main target is to boost relations and solidarity between the countries involved and Laos .”

At many of the previous games the host nation has topped the medal tally. Laos will do its best to continue this trend but a big medal haul is not the only measurement of success.

“Lao athletes are still amateurs, not professionals like most in the region. Most of our athletes are students or government officials who love to play sport. At these games we hope to gain experience from other athletes visiting our country,” Dr Phouthong said. He said hosting the games was important for political matters, foreign affairs issues and socio-economic and cultural development as well as national security and promoting a peaceful society.

The 25th SEA Games will take place from December 9 to 18 in Vientiane, involving 390 events in 25 sports including athletics, swimming, archery, badminton, snooker and billiards, muay, cycling, football, golf, judo, karatedo, sepak takraw, shooting, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, pencak silat, petanque, fin swimming, diving and shuttlecock.

LNSC reported logistical preparations for the games have begun in addition to infrastructure construction.

Committees have been formed to oversee hospitality, transportation, travel arrangements and security during the games. They include representatives from the ministries of Public Works and Transport, Health, Public Security, and Information and Culture, the Lao National Tourism Administration and other organisations.

“We have received reports from each committee regarding their preparation efforts and some areas are close to completion while others need further work,” Dr Phouthong said.

LNSC reported on the construction of five stadiums to be used for the games, including progress on the main 20,000-seat stadium in Dongsanghin village, Xaythany district, which will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies.

“Some people don't understand the entire process and mistakenly believe construction will not be completed before the games, but it is actually already 90 percent complete and facilities will be handed over to the relevant committees in September,” Dr Phouthong said. Other indoor and outdoor courts at Chao-anouvong stadium in Anou village, Chanthabouly district, the International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre, Beungkhayong stadium and facilities at the National University of Laos are also close to completion and are waiting to be fitted out with sports equipment.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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