SEAG Federation on same page with Asean sports ministers


THE Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) on Friday acknowledged the initiative of the Asean Sports Ministers on the alignment of the sports played at the SEA Games with those of the Asian Games and the Olympics.

The SEAGF, in a statement issued on Friday, said that it “shares the concerns of all stakeholders as regards the sports program of the SEAGF,” and that it “has been, and will continue, to review our SEAG sports program from time to time in view of, and to keep up with, the ever-changing world sports landscape, and to keep a balance of sports competed at each SEAG.”

In the Sixth Asean Ministerial Meeting on Sports that was held virtually on Thursday (October 28), the Sports Ministers reiterated their recognition on the importance of providing the region’s athletes with “more competition opportunities at the Asean level before they compete at the regional and international levels by aligning the sports played at the SEA Games with those at the Asian and Olympic Games.

“We adopt the Joint Statement of Asean Sports Ministers on Cementing Strong Foundation for Asean Athletes at the Southeast Asian Games,” the region’s sports ministers said.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino praised the SEAGF for its unwavering stand on developing sports in the region as well as on its support for the Asean Sports Ministers’ initiatives.

“The SEAGF and the Asean Sports Ministers are standing on the same page and are bound by one goal—to develop further sports and athletes in the region,” Tolentino said. “There has always been a healthy and symbiotic relationship between the two bodies and with that, we have been reaping the success of that bond.”

There were 50 athletes—19 Filipinos—from six SEAGF members who competed at the Tokyo Olympics with the Philippines emerging as the best performer at 50th place with one gold (Hidilyn Diaz), two silver (Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio) and one bronze (Eumir Felix Marcial), followed by Indonesia (55th) with 1-1-3 (gold-silver-bronze), Thailand (59th) 1-0-1, Malaysia (74th) 0-1-1.

The SEAGF assured the Sports Ministers that Asian Games and regular Olympic sports would always be prioritized for each SEA Games editions, but would also put emphasis on the inclusion of sports indigenous to the region.

“Category 1 in Clause 34 [SEAGF Charter and Rules] provides for the compulsory sports [Athletics and Aquatics (Swimming, Diving and Water Polo are mandatory)] of the SEAG, Category 2 states that the host NOC must select and include at least 14 sports from its list of 38 Olympic and Asian Games sports, and Category 3 states that the host NOC [national Olympic Committee] may select and include at least two but not more than eight other sports listed therein,” the SEAGF said.

“The SEAGF recognizes the need for the inclusion of Olympic and Asian Games sports, disciplines and events as part of the objective of the SEAGF in the development of the performance of our SEAG athletes at the Olympic and Asian Games, as is clear from its Category 2 list of sports,” the statement furthered.

“However, the SEAGF also recognizes that as the SEAG is SEA’s pride and own trademark regional multi-sports event, the opportunity for each host NOC to be able to promote, develop and include traditional sports, particularly those that originate from each country of the host NOC, ought to be respected, and thence the list of other sports in Category 3 accordingly,” the federation stressed.

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