The Japanese government, through the Japanese Embassy here, has officially handed over several sports equipment to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS).
Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Mikami Masahiro led the handover of an athletic track built with a Japanese Kusanone grant for cultural projects, as well as a swimming pool and gym supported by the Japanese NGO Hearts of Gold (HoG) thanks to a grant from a Japanese NGO. .
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron was there to receive the new sports equipment. The award ceremony was held at the National Institute of Physical Education and Sport (NIPES) in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
“The Japanese government wishes to support the activities of the Cambodian government to promote sport and physical education, notably through NIPES, as well as the Kingdom’s goal of winning medals at the SEA Games in Cambodia in 2023. This is the reason why we provided NIPES with an athletic track, ”said the Embassy of Japan.
These facilities, according to the embassy, should provide a fair and safe learning environment for NIPES students. He added that the project implemented by the HoG will contribute to the capacity building of teachers and staff of NIPES.
“We hope that this cooperation will help develop physical education in Cambodia and further strengthen the friendship between Cambodia and Japan,” said the embassy.
In his post, Amb Mikami acknowledged the important role played by NIPES as the leading provider of physical education training in Cambodia.
“This equipment will help NIPES to carry out its mission,” he said.
Min Naron, for his part, thanked the Japanese government and said that the aid will greatly contribute to the development of the sports sector in Cambodia.
The two officials then sprinted down the running track while wearing a special pair of shoes donated by Taica Cambodia, a Japanese shoe maker with factories in Phnom Penh’s Special Economic Zone.
The event also featured a video message from Arimori Yuko, representative director of HoG.
Arimori is a legendary Japanese marathon runner and athlete, who was the first woman to achieve professional status by the Japan Amateur Athletics Federation or JAAF.
A two-time Olympian, Arimori won a silver medal for Japan in the marathon at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
The United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador was also instrumental in establishing the Angkor Wat Marathon, Cambodia’s premier running event, in 1996.
“I hope that many students will learn at NIPES using these facilities offered by Japan,” she said.
Construction of the swimming pool and gymnasium began in 2019. But their completion has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Keywords: Embassy of Japan, sports