MANILA/SINGAPORE, 8 October 2020 –ASEAN Member States’ Senior Sports Officials participated in the Tenth Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS-10), the Eleventh Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS-11) and 3rd SOMS+Japan which took place virtually from 6 – 8 October.

The Philippines Sports Commission hosted the SOMS-10, which was chaired by Executive Director Merlita R. Ibay. At the meeting, the senior officials reviewed progress on key issues since the 2019 sectoral meetings. They also discussed the ongoing formulation of the ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2021-2025 and the Terms of Reference of the Technical Working Group for ASEAN’s Joint Bid for the World Cup 2034.

The ASEAN Football Federation, the Southeast Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization, Right to Play, UNESCO, UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Commonwealth Secretariat participated in the SOMS-10 Open Session. They provided updates on their ongoing and planned initiatives in support of the ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2016-2020 and the next ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2021-2025.

Further, the senior officials agreed to formalise SOMS’ collaboration with the IFRC and the Commonwealth Secretariat to promote healthy lifestyles and measure sport’s contribution to the sustainable development goals.

Singapore assumed its 2020-2021 Chairship of SOMS and hosted the SOMS-11, with Thailand as incoming Vice-Chair. Singapore’s Permanent Secretary of the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry Tan Gee Keow chaired the meeting.

SOMS-11 served a platform for deliberations on the ASEAN Work Plan on Sports 2021-2025’s implementation arrangements. During the Open Session, Singapore and Portas Consulting representatives presented a research initiative on the socioeconomic value of sports in ASEAN. Singapore identified the regional study as one of the priority deliverables under their Chairship. Additionally, FIFA and the ASEAN Secretariat briefed sports senior officials on the progress of the development of the ASEAN-FIFA Collaboration Plan.

Further, the Philippines, Singapore and Japan co-chaired the 3rd SOMS+Japan as an interim arrangement during the Chairship transition from the Philippines to Singapore. Japan Sports Agency Director of International Affairs Division Tomohiko Arai co-chaired the meeting.

ASEAN and Japan’s Senior Officials discussed initiatives promoting women and girls’ participation in physical education teachers’ and coaches’ development. The meeting also presented joint activities supporting the broad priority areas defined by the ASEAN-Japan Cooperation on Sports agenda

In its next five-year work plan, the ASEAN sports sector will focus on advancing Sports for Development and Peace in line with the global Kazan Action Plan on sports policy development. Key programmes promoting sports science, sports tourism and sports industry will also form part of the post-2020 ASEAN sports work plan.

Established in 2011, SOMS is a regional body consisting of national agencies responsible for sports.

***