The Southeast Asian Games Federation acknowledged the initiative of the ASEAN Sports Ministers on strengthening the sports programs in the region.

In the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports held virtually last Thursday, 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.

In a statement issued Friday, the SEAGF said 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.”

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.

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

There were 50 athletes, including 19 Filipinos, from the SEA region who competed at the Tokyo Olympics with the Philippines emerging as the best performing Southeast Asian country with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

Source: Manila Bulletin (