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PHNOM PENH – Asian countries have commended Cambodia for promoting women’s participation in sports.
Nhan Sokvisal, director of the Department of International Relations at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) revealed this after attending the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Gender Equity Seminar in Bahrain.
Sokvisal with other representatives from Cambodia, was part of the seminar held from Oct. 30 to 31 in Manama. About 40 Asian countries were represented at the two-day gathering.
The focus of this year’s gathering was on enhancing women’s participation and representation in all aspects of sport.
“When we speak about gender equity in sport, we must speak about education and awareness, which are the two key components in achieving these goals at all levels from grassroots to elite sports,” a Xinhua report quoted Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, the OCA’s Gender Equity Committee chairperson.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach through a video message said gender equality is a priority for the organisation.
“In today’s world, no organisation or country can afford to leave the skills of 50 per cent of the population behind – either in sport or in society at large,” he said. “That is why the IOC is committed to closing the gender gap on and off the field.”
Prak Samphors, vice chairwoman of the Women and Sports Commission, was among those who accompanied Sokvisal to the event.
According to Sokvisal, Cambodia was among four countries selected to share their experiences of women’s participation in sports. The list also included Bahrain, Mongolia and Bhutan.
“Our presentation was about how the NOCC is focused on women’s participation in sports, especially in the Olympic movement,” Sokvisal said. “Our presentation was well received. Many countries praised us for actively promoting women in sports movement.”
The NOCC in December 2021, organised the Olympic Education & Women Equity in Sport Seminar in Phnom Penh.
More than 100 participants representing the NOCC, secondary schools, Cambodia DanceSport Federation and other organisations took part in the one-day gathering, which was held to look at levels of women’s participation and to encourage them to be more actively involved in sports activities.
There has been a rise in the number of women participating in sports activities and competitions in Cambodia and this trend has been growing steadily in the last few years.
Women athletes – Jessa Khan, Sorn Seavmey and the women’s petanque team composed of Sreng Sorakhim, Khoun Yary and Duong Dina – bagged three of the four gold medals that Cambodia won in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.