Leaders and Sportsmen and Sportswomen Are Getting Closer
Today, my wife and I are so excited to be able to meet with a big family of sportsmen and sportswomen as scheduled. I am asking for your understanding that some of our deputy prime ministers planning to join this event have not been able to make it because they are still in the meeting in the National Assembly owing to urgency of the adoption of the trade union law. The meeting may extend to about 7pm or 8pm. However, we have the presence here of senior ministers and other leaders.
I thank HE Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, HE Thaong Khon, HE Hang Chuon Naron, and other leaders for organizing this major event. HE Thaong Khon said that in the world record, there has never been such big meeting with sportsmen and sportswomen conducted by leaders. Well, I would refer to national level that I used to meet some of the sportswomen and sportsmen before they left for competition like Sea Games, etc., or after some of them came back with medals for our nation. However, I think such gathering of sportsmen and sportswomen from all sports federations is necessary to establish the bond of relation between leaders and sportsmen and sportswomen, and to encourage them with spirit of a brilliant future of sports in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Being Good in Sports – Not a Matter of Rich/Poor, Big/Small Country
We have aimed for the 2023 SEA Games. Though there would not be, however, such event by then, this gathering should be there to promote and advance sports activities in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Cambodia’s leader who stands talking here also is practicing sports. Though I have not been a national level sportsman, I used to go through various kinds of games. Up to now, I had played volleyball, football, and Petanque. I am still doing golf too. Today, I am so happy that some of the sportsmen and sportswomen remained from killing under the regime of Pol Pot and had journeyed with us since 1979, are also here. It is true that some of them died. Some are still with us and together we raise our spirit to continue to promote sports of our nation.
In every sport, not to mention about techniques, I wanted to assure you that the spirit of sports must be resistant. In sports, it is not a matter of big or small, rich or poor country. What is the most important here is efforts you make and your challenge to stand up and compete with equal right and footing with sportsmen and sportswomen from other countries. I would take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation for our sportsmen and sportswomen in the Paralympics as well other special forms of sports, who in the past, had made efforts and gained medal for the country. I thank the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia as well as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for also including here brothers, nephews, and grandchildren in the sports for handicap with us today.
Together for National Honor in Sports
It is a big gathering indeed this evening. I think this will not be last. I hope that at an appropriate time, we may call for another gathering of the great family of national sports. The year 2023 is not far. We must make our efforts to compete for honor for our nation and people. There is no politics in sports. I hope that we all will unite to make our nation active in establishing solidarity among all sports and working out good relation between people and people of our country and other countries, especially through youth and sports activities.
Thank You for Birthday Wish
Today, we will have a long night of music and dancing. I suggest that you do not leave when my wife and I leave the event. We are throwing this party right before we are celebrating the Khmer New Year, the Monkey year of 2560 B.C. – a wonderful time to have this party. We have chosen Monday evening so that it would not affect sports activities, especially those of football that always happen on Saturday and Sunday. I would take this chance to express my sincere thanks for trainers, professors, referees, and leaders of all sports federations for wishing me on my birthday. Though it is not a real birthday, it is, however, an official birthday of the Prime Minister of Cambodia […] because there will be some alcohol tonight, I advice you not to drive yourselves. As part of this event, I have prepared Riel 100,000 gift for every sportsmen and sportswomen. I would take this opportune moment, on behalf of my wife and myself, and the Royal Government, wish you all a great new year and four Buddhist blessings./.