REPORT OF THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
FOR THE FIRST SEAP GAMES
by Luang Sukhum Nayapradit, Vice President
Council Members and Gentlemen :
We have just heard the opening address by His Excellency, General Prabhas Charusathiara, President of the Olympic Committee of Thailand and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the First SEAP Games in 1959, in which he dealt with the purposes and reasons for holding the Games. In the capacity of the Vice President of the Olympic Committee of Thailand and Chairman of the current meeting, I wish to inform you of the preparations made so far for the Games to be held in December this year.
At our meeting, during the Third Asian Games, in Tokyo on May 22nd last year, we have agreed on certain matters. Upon my arrival back in Thailand, I hastened to submit to the Olympic Committee of Thailand my memorandum and the points of agreement reached at the Tokyo meeting. Since the SEAP Games are a big event involving national honour and prestige, the Olympic Committee of Thailand deemed it expedient to seek the approval of His Majesty’s Government for the nomination of a committee to be responsible for organizing and financing the Games. This approval was readily granted by my Government. This Committee is the Organizing Committee assisted by eleven other committees each responsible for its particular field and coming directly under the Organizing Committees are Sports Committee, Publicity and Information Committee, Financial Committee, Medical and Hygiene Committee, Housing Committee, Food Committee, Transportation Committee, Traffic and Guard Committee, Receptions and Protocol Committee, Prizes and Property Committee, and Field Entertainments Committee. The Chairmen and the Vice Chairman of each committee are nearly all senior Government officials and distinguished persons.
As Thailand has the honour of acting as the host country for the first SEAP Games, the Olympic Committee of Thailand has humbly asked His Majesty the King to become patron to the Games and also inviting Their Majesties the King and the Queen to officiate at the opening ceremony of the Games on the 12th December this year.
Later at a meeting on November 17th 1958 the Organizing Committee determined and allotted responsibilities to each of the committee. I am now happy to inform the meeting here of the work that Thailand has accomplished. It has been agreed that there will be twelve sports events. One of these is athletics which must be included. The other eleven events are optional, namely : badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, football. Lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, and weightlifting. Other preparations also have been made. Accommodations for approximately 600 to 700 athletes have been provided. These accommodations include medical supplies, doctors and nurses, catering services, sanitation services, transportation services, as well as other facilities such as banking service and post office. Further, our Committee has agreed upon the designs for winning and commemorative medals. About eight or nine sport arenas for the Games have been planned and their repairs and improvements are now well underway.
As previously agreed, the athletes together with the representative of each participating country will arrive in Thailand by air or by train prior to the commencemence of the Games. The Olympic Committee of Thailand will make available transport and facilities at the airport or the station, and all the arrivals will be taken in procession to the National Stadium to enable one representative athlete of every country to place his “Flame” in the ceremony hall. The representative athletes and all the other athletes will then be taken to their living quarters where the representative athletes of each participating country will perform the ceremony of hoisting their national flags.
As for the opening ceremony of the Games, which fall on December 12th, the Olympic Committee of Thailand has worked out the details. I am happy to give you the following brief outline.
Before the arrival at the National Stadium of Their Majesties the King and the Queen, a 400-member band will march through different formations. Their Majesties will arrive by car at the National Stadium at 4.15 p.m. A guard of honour will present arms while the national anthem is being played. Then Their Majesties will proceed to the office building of the Department of Physical Education where the President of the Organizing Committee of SEAP Games will introduce to them the Council Members of the Federation and the Thai Committee. Then the President of the Organizing Committee will accompany them to the ceremony hall where His Majesty the King will light candles to pay homage to the Triple Gems and light the torch for Thailand. Their Majesties will then proceed to the Royal Box at the National Stadium. The athletes of the six participating countries will march in alphabetical order with Thailand coming in last as the host country into the Stadium. The President of the Organizing Committee will then ask His Majesty the King to present the SEAP Games flag to the representatives of the six countries and also to deliver the royal opening address. After this the representative athlete of Thailand will hoist the SEAP Games Federation flag while a salute of 21 guns will be fired, and pigeons released. The torch-bearer of each country will then be running into the Stadium towards the cauldron. Upon the arrival of all torch-hearers, a display of fireworks of the colour of the six nations flags will light up the sky. After the torch-bearers have simultaneously lighted the Sacred Fire in the cauldron, the Thai athlete will then lead athletes of other countries in taking an oath, after which the athletes of all the participating countries will leave the arena in a procession. Then will begin a demonstration of physical exercise and a folk dance, each heing performed by a thousand persons. After watching the display till the end, Their Majesties will leave, thus bringing to a close of the ceremony on that day.
On subsequent days there will be competitions of the following events, namely athleties and soccer which will take place in the main arena; volleyball will be played on the second soccer ground; lawn tennis at he back portion of the National Stadium; table tennis, weight-lifting and basketball in the new gymnasium; swimming in the pool of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club; road cycling in Lumbini Park; boxing at the Lumbini Stadium; badminton at the boxing stadium at Rajadamnorn, and rifle and pistol shooting at the shooting ground of the Rifle Shooting Association.
On the 17th of December, the day for the closing ceremony, Their Majesties the King and the Queen will watch the final football match, and will distribute souvenirs to the representatives of all the participating countries. After the end of the soccer match there will be another parade of athletes of all the participating countries, followed by the closing ceremony and the lowering of the flags. A display of fireworks of multicolour will light up the sky while a lantern dance will be performed by 500 dancers. Their Majesties will then leave the Stadium.
With respect to public relations I am happy to inform you that three issues of the SEAP Games Bulletin have already been published. Posters advertising the Games and written in both Thai and English have been sent not only to participating countries, but also to embassies, legations, newspaper offices, amateur sports association, airline companies both at home and abroad and others. A series of news releases about the progress and activities of the preparations for the SEAP Games have often been broadcast locally in English, Thai, Chinese, and Malay, and also telecasts by both of the television stations in Thailand. English and Thai pamphlets illustrating the news about the SEAP Games have been distributed and at the same time slides advertising the Games have been shown in cinema theatres. Cooperation of local newspapers has also been sought in carrying the symbol of the SEAP Games.
I am certain that the results of the present meeting of the Council Members of the SEAP Games and the cooperation among the peninsular countries in organizing the Games, the first of its kind in this region, will certainly go down in the history of international sports.
In conclusion I am confident that this meeting of the Council Members of the SEAP Games will not only come to a successful end, but also happily achieve our common goals. It is also my sincere hope that the Rules of the SEAP Games Federation will serve to bind us together in closer harmony and friendship, thus strengthening and perpetuating cordial relations that have happily existed between us for centuries.
The National Stadium