The SEA Games has been originated from the South East Asia Peninsular Games (SEAP Games) which was initiated by Luang Sukhum Nayapradit in the late 1957. The creation of SEAP Games was stemming from the fact that the exchange of sport were often occurred between Thailand and other neighboring countries.

            Myanmar (Burma) became the first country to send its invitation to Thailand to compete in football, rugby, badminton, tennis, boxing, basketball, athletics regularly, perhaps rather traditionally. Luang Sukhum Nayaoradit, who was then the Vice President of  National Olympic Committees of Thailand, had an idea that the South East Asia Peninsular Group could be organized similar to that of “the Asian Games” or “the Olympic Games”, as the people in this region have similarity in climate and in physical appearance as to upgrade and raise sporting standards of the South East Asia Peninsular member countries, prior to compete in other international multi-sport games, like the Asian Games and the Olympic Games. In so doing, this would help them enhance their potentials in sport, in relationship and in cooperation among the neighboring countries themselves as well.

            Then, in 1958, Laung Sukhum Nayapradit gave his concept to Mr.Dave Kicher, honorary coach of Amateur Athletic Association of Thailand, who privately left for Cambodia and Vietnam between 8 and 14 February 1958 to discuss and sound out opinions about this matter with foreigners further. It appeared that Cambodia and Vietnam voiced their support in full. Later, his idea was accepted and materialized when he submitted this matter to the Olympic Committee of Thailand Meeting on 22 February 1958. The Meeting accepted in principle and organization of SEAP Games was set to launch for the first time in December 1958 in Bangkok Along with the creation of the 1st SEAP Games, assignments were made to let Laung Sukhum Nayapradit, Mr. Kong Visudharomn and Mr. Svasti Lekhyananda monitor the project and other details further. The Cabinet then approved this new sport development a little moment later.
Participated at the Tokyo 3rd Asian Games that was held in May 1958 was a set of committee formed by the Olympic Committee of Thailand comprising Luang Sukhum Nayapradit, Mr. Kong Visudharomn and Mr. Svasti Lekhyananda, as the Thai Representatives, to propose and discuss the organization of international competition to be held by the Peninsular Group Countries. Attended the discussion meeting were Burma, Cambodia, Lao, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The meeting approved, admitted and named the competition as the South East Asia Peninsular Games (SEAP Games) in 1959. Issues and minutes of the Meeting in Tokyo on 22nd May 1958 could be summarized as follows :-

  • 1. All Representatives were very pleased and endorsed in principle to participate in the 1st SEAP Games. Meanwhile, a few Representative voiced their concern that their participation should be approved by their Cabinets first.
  • 2. The Meeting decided that organizations of this competition be held biannually between the duration of the Asian Games and the Olympic Games
  • 3. The SEAP Games Charter must be drafted as soon as possible.
  • 4. The SEAP Games International Federation shall consist of 3 Representatives from each country. They were required to attend the SEAP Games Council Members Meeting each time before the Games start.
  • 5. Thailand proposed that 12 sports should be held ; namely football, basketball, weightlifting, volleyball, boxing, badminton, tennis, cycling(road), swimming, table tennis and shooting.
  • 6. Compulsory sport was the athletics. For other sports, they could be chosen, subject to the number of participating countries must not be less than 3.
  • 7. Participating number countries must pay their own way to and from Bangkok by themselves. For those traveling by train, the Organizing Committee would find a way to provide these participating countries with special services; like nurses attendance, special trains and special discount to various teams while competing the Games in Thailand.
  • 8. The Organizing Committee would provide accommodation, meal and domestic transportation with as less as USD $ 8.00 a day per head, in the same manner as that of the Asian Games
  • 9. There would be the Opening and closing Ceremonies
  • 10. The period of competition was schedules for 5 days. The NOC Contingent was able to arrive in Bangkok 5 days before the competition.
  • 11. Consideration was also made with respect to the SEAP Games Flag as well.
  • 12. The Torch Relay Flame must be lit from its own country and brought with them to Bangkok. During the Opening Ceremony, there would be 6 torch bearers, one from each participating country. All together lit the Ceremonial Quadron at the same time.
  • 13. Discussion were also made to include “Takraw” as a demonstration sport in the SEAP Games for the first time. Although the 1st SEAP Games was set to launch in January 1959, the Olympic Committee of Thailand considered that the 1st SEAP Games be held in December 1959 instead. Meanwhile, a team of budgeters was set up comprising Lt.Col.Erb Saengut, Dr.Klun Watcharobol and Dr.Boonsom Matin to estimate the expenditures of the 1st SEAP Games.
Later on, Lt.Gen.Prabhas Charustiara was appointed to be the first President of Olympic Committee of Thailand as well as the First President of SEAP Games Federation; while Laung Sukhum Nayapradit was the Chairman of the SEAP Games Organizing Committee.