Cambodia spent about $6.6 million to reward Cambodian medallists at the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games 2023, providing essential funds for awarded athletes to support their livelihoods and future training.
Tea Banh, Minister of National Defence and President of the Cambodian SEA Games-ASEAN Para Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC) said on June 27 cash awards have been given to coaches, assistant coaches, and athletes who have won gold, silver and bronze medals.
Athletes received 40 million riel ($10,000) for a gold medal, 30 million riel ($7,500) for silver, and 16 million riel ($4,000) for bronze.
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Cambodian athletes won a total of 282 medals, including 81 gold, 74 silver, and 127 bronze in the SEA Games, while Cambodia’s ASEAN Para Games’ team earned a total of 71 medals, including nine gold, 18 silver and 44 bronze medals.
He still encouraged the National Committee of the Federation and Cambodian athletes to continue to strengthen capacity and quality of sports, especially training to strengthen young athletes to win medals at the 33rd Sea Games 2025 will be held in Thailand and Asian Youth Games in 2029 which Cambodia is selected to host.
Koe Phoksambo, Coach for DG Angelz, said he is happy to see Cambodian athletes receive financial rewards for their achievement. However, he suggested that in the next games, coaches and assistant coaches have medals after their players earn gold, silver or bronze.
“If possible, in 2025, which Thailand will be a host, [we hope they will] include esports again, and we will be well prepared to earn a gold medal,” Phoksambo said.
Chon Sovan, a Taekwondo athlete (WT), said, “I will use the reward from my medal to support my shortcomings and strengthen my ability further.”
He committed to try his best to earn a gold medal in the next competition, if he is selected.
“During the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, my teammates and I did our best. We trained six days a week, three times per day. Even if we had problems with our fitness (knees and ankles), we still continued to train very hard. We did not dare to rest; in our hearts we always say win win.”
“The bronze medal is very valuable to me. We had to meet with a strong team as they have more experience. We have just started in the first league, but we can show our ability. It's known that we are thriving and that our ability is not as easy as it used to be.”
Another Taekwondo athlete (WT), Voeun Sitha, said she will use some of the money she received for her medal to help her teammates and the rest to support her family.
“I will give it to my teammates because in the group there are brothers and sisters who participated in the competition, but unfortunately, they did not get a medal. Then I left some money to prepare for a ceremony for my mother because she passed away recently.”
Sitha remains determined to continue training for the next event and bring medals back to her motherland.