13:00 | 20/04/2022 Events
With less than a month to go, the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) will take place at 8pm on May 12 at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi. This is Vietnam’s second time hosting the Games, the region's biggest sports event, following the 22nd one in 2003. To date, all-round preparations for the Games have been completed, and Vietnam is ready for the important festival.
According to Deputy Director of the Vietnam Sports Administration (VSA) Le Thi Hoang Yen, who is also Deputy Head of the Games’ Information-Communications Sub-Committee, the Organising Committee has established nine subcommittees and one operation centre, with each sub-committee having been assigned specific tasks ranging from technical expertise, security, traffic, reception, logistics, healthcare, and communication.
|SEA Games 31 banners in a street in Hanoi (Photo: NDO/Thuy Nguyen)|
Themed “For a stronger Southeast Asia”, SEA Games 31 will feature 40 sports with 526 events and is expected to attract around 7,000 athletes.
The Games’ healthcare and anti-doping sub-committee said that the organising committee paid special attention to the two issues of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, and food safety and hygiene. The subcommittee has taken appropriate measures and plans to ensure the safety of the sports delegations and participants during the Games.
Following the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, spectators watching competitions at the 31st Southeast Asian Games will not be required to take COVID-19 tests before entering stadiums.
Meanwhile, coaches and athletes will need to take COVID-19 rapid tests 24 hours before each competition. If a COVID-19 patient is detected, the patient must quarantine at their accommodation or receive treatment at medical centres depending on their health condition.
Sports officials, referees, and athletes must have certified negative RT-PCR/RT-LAMP test results taken within 72 hours or rapid antigen testing within 24 hours before entering Vietnam but are not required to quarantine. Athletes will travel in closed routes between their accommodation, training and competition venues.
All coaches, athletes, members of the organising committee, volunteers, and reporters are requested to limit close contact, wear masks and comply with 5K preventive measures (khau trang - wearing face masks, khu khuan - disinfection, khoang cach - keeping distance, khai bao - making health declaration, khong tu tap - no gathering). The organisers also recommend that the participating sports delegations limit side-line activities, in order to stay safe and prevent transmissions during the competition.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Organising Committee will adopt flexible regulations on replacing athletes when a member of team sport events is positive to COVID-19. For individual and single events, if an athlete has reached the semi-finals and tests positive to coronavirus, his result must be cancelled.
Saola - The mascot of SEA Games 31 in front of Bac Giang province's sports gymnasium (Photo: VNA)
Regarding accommodations for athletes, VSA Deputy Director Nguyen Hong Minh, who is also Head of the Subcommittee on Logistics and Public Services at SEA Games 31, shared that sport delegations will stay in hotels rated upwards of four stars, which are located near their training places.
The subcommittee has worked closely with hotels on creating diverse menus and ensuring food safety and hygiene for the participating sports delegations, particularly Muslim groups, so that they will feel most comfortable and well-served during their stay in Vietnam.
Some 3,000 volunteers serving the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) have completed training. Among them, about 1,900 will be working in Hanoi while the rest are assigned to 11 other host localities.
Nguyen Hai Duong, deputy head of a sub-committee in charge of the ceremonies at the SEA Games 31, said the volunteers are primarily university students in good health conditions who possess qualified skills in foreign languages.
They are to support delegations of officials, athletes, coaches, referees and foreign news agencies. Some of them will work as emcees and interpreters during competitions, medal ceremonies and related events, as well as working sessions and press conferences.
The volunteers are provided with full information about the congress and must learn about Vietnamese culture as well as the culture of the participating sports delegation they will support.
The young and enthusiastic volunteers are expected to promote the culture, land and people of Vietnam with international friends, thus contributing to the overall success of the Games.
Vietnam has registered 965 athletes, including 534 males and 431 females to the SEA Games 31. They are set to compete at all 40 sports of the Games, striving to win 140 gold, 77 silver and 71 bronze medals and secure the top place in the tally.
SEA Games 31 is an event of great significance as it has helped to boost cooperation and development among Southeast Asian countries not only in the field of sports but also in other fields of culture, politics, diplomacy, and economics. It is also an opportunity for the host country to advertise its land, people and culture.
By successful hosting the 31st SEA Games, Vietnam will convey positive messages affirming a strong and responsible Vietnam in the eyes of international friends. For Hanoi in particular, the Games will provide a good chance to promote its image as the “City for Peace”, a civilised capital with time-honoured culture.