Once again, my wife and I are so pleased to join with all of you to close the first national games after we also came for the opening on 28 October 2016. On this auspicious occasion, my wife and I are expressing appreciations for cooperation and efforts made in so far to organize smoothly this event bringing the national games to a closing with fruitful and brilliant results.
Winning or Losing, One Must Train More
The reports by Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports, HE Hang Chuon Naron, and Minister of Tourism and President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, have clearly set lights on the efforts made together to for the first-ever national games organization. On this occasion, I have high opinion on efforts professionally made by sportsmen and sportswomen in taking parts in every competition. I hope that our sportsmen and sportswomen, those who won and lost alike, will see that this event is not their final efforts. I hope that winners will continue to make more efforts to improve their capacity to ensure their achievements at national, regional, and international levels. For those who have not made it this time, I hope that they will also continue to make efforts to achieve victories in the time to come.
National Games – An Achievement of Peace from Win-Win Policy
I am taking this opportune moment to convey my appreciation to concerned commissions, arbitrary teams, and organizers of each, and every, sports subjects for their endeavors to make this historical event a success. I wish to convey my appreciation and thanks to people in the whole country who have made their participations through encouragements for our sportsmen and sportswomen in every subject. On behalf of the Royal Government, I bestow appreciation and thanks to the armed forces for making successful efforts to safeguard security and public order for this huge event. The national games event clearly indicates achievement of peace scored from win-win policy. We are in the time of peace and political stability on our way towards national day on 9 November, and the forthcoming water festival’s boat racing, moon praying and rice crushed eating ceremonies.
On this occasion, I also thank the various companies for their supports and sponsorships of the event and hope that companies as well as institutions and organizations will respond to my appeal for the alliances with sports federations. By doing so, I am sure our sportsmen and sportswomen will feel the encouragement further.
Every Institutions Must Be Ready for Next Games
I wish to reaffirm that there will be three national games in 2018, 2020 and 2022, happening every two years, before we will host the South East Asian Games in 2023. According to the scores listed from the national games, we have noticed that some institutions have not had their sports teams to participate yet. There should be more and not just those teams from the Ministry of Interior and National Defense. I strongly wish to see that for the next national games, more sports teams from other institutions will make their presences. We all must share the national goal and contribute to thinking, doing and taking responsibility.
Size Does Not Matter
According to the scores list of those who have won gold, silver, or bronze medals, let us have our attention here that may all the provinces in the Kingdom of Cambodia make further efforts to instill sports activities among people from younger age for competition at provincial level and make their way stage after stage to completion in 2018. What surprised us here is that the province of Tbong Khmom, with a population of nearly one million, scored not a single medal. This is a wakeup call for governor and provincial governing council of Tbong Khmom to pay more attention. This also serves as example to other provinces, whose sports teams score only one medal.
I hope that every province will renew their efforts in sports and their trainings aiming for participation and more medals in the second national games in 2018. I have firm belief that every province will do their bests and I wish to announce here that the province of Preah Vihear, small and far away, was able to beat down Kompot in volleyball. Preah Vihear is small and has even smaller population, and remote, but it managed to stand second in volleyball.
I also convey my sincere appreciation for the province of Siem Reap for winning over the Phnom Penh team to secure its stand of number one in football. These two examples have clearly affirmed that big or small province, smaller or bigger population is not decisive factor. It is not true that bigger province has the best sportsmen or sportswomen. Smaller and lesser number of people province also can make it to the top if they pay attention efforts, with full participation of leaders and people.
One Person, One Sport
On this occasion, I wish to reaffirm to our people, especially our youth and children, to make further efforts to practice at least one sport. It could be one for competition as amateur or just for keeping the best of health. Please stay away from drug and let us take sport as our goal and action for the sake of solidarity, cooperation, and understanding.
I express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the artistic performers, and the armed forces, here present or watching live, those Cambodians abroad and our peacekeeping troops on missions in Lebanon, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Mali, included. They may have watched this event live too. I hope that people’s participation will embolden our sports activities and will make our march towards any competition as a sovereign nation – on equal rights and footing with other countries in the region and the world.
Finally, I am declaring the closing of the first national games at this time and I wish Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen, sportsmen and sportswomen, the four Buddhist blessings./.