PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – 18 December 2020 – There are multiple ways companies can achieve their environment, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities. Investing in sports development is one approach as it contributes to youth development, education, and health, sectors in Cambodia that Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi (陈志公爵) andPrince Group strongly believe in.
The benefits of sports development in countries like Cambodia are well documented. Countries with a healthy sporting culture generally see over time reduced healthcare costs and improved social cohesion. A strong believer in the potential of Cambodia, Chen Zhi participates in any opportunity that can help raise Cambodia’s international standing, such as sports development.
The profile of any sport in a country, however, depends greatly on the achievements of the national side. Prince Group, one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Cambodia, has realized this and plays a vital part in the development of Cambodian sports by supporting the men’s volleyball team.
Volleyball is a sport that Cambodians are beginning to love. Last year, Cambodia narrowly beat arch-rival Vietnam 110–109 after a two-hour match at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The team eventually came fifth, a huge improvement compared to previous tournaments, but it was the first time in a long while that Cambodian sportspersons had won a game at a team sport on such a grand stage.
When the country hosts the 2023 SEA Games for the first time, expectations will be high for sportspersons to win further accolades. It will be a tournament that will also bring a significant boost to tourism. Last year when the SEA Games was held in the Philippines, more than 750,000 visitors came to the Philippines in December, with a significant proportion arriving to witness the 2019 SEA Games.
Chen Zhi and Prince Group contribute to Cambodia’s Volleyball Team’s SEA Games effort
Ahead of the 2019 SEA Games, Prince Group, led by its Cambodian Chairman Chen Zhi, contributed US$500,000 to the local volleyball federation to support training and competition preparation activities. In July 2019, Prince Group also facilitated a visit to Fujian in China where 21 Cambodian players underwent an intensive two-month training program. Prince Group contributed approximately US$100,000 and also sponsored the team for visits to competitions in Thailand.
But improving sporting performance is a long-run effort. To this end, Prince Group has helped hire an experienced volleyball coach from China to train the Cambodian national team for five years.
“The Cambodian volleyball team has a lot of potential and the country has a lot of talent with the necessary physical qualities required to be competitive,” says the coach of the Cambodian volleyball team. “It is important for these players to participate in high-quality tournaments so they can challenge themselves and strive to do better and make their country proud.”
Prince Group joins global brands in supporting local sports development
By investing in Cambodia’s sporting development in this manner, Chen Zhi and Prince Group are leading a path traversed by a number of leading businesses around the world. For countries like Cambodia, local sports need the support of local businesses.
Apart from investing in sports, Prince Group has also lived up to its ESG responsibilities in other fields. It has made several large-scale donations to help in the fight against the pandemic and assist flood victims in Cambodia. In early December, Chen Zhi and Prince Group donated US$3,000,000 to Prime Minister Hun Sen to help Cambodia purchase 1 million COVID-19 vaccines.
As key advocates and proponents of Cambodia’s development, Chen Zhi and Prince Group are grateful for the chance to play such an important role in the journey of the Cambodian volleyball team to the 2023 SEA Games, and hope to contribute towards more aspects of Cambodian society beyond just sports for many years to come.