The second Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) international relations committee (IRC) meeting deliberated the progress of plans developed during the previous meeting and current plans for better functioning of the committee.

IRC’s chairperson, His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, chaired the meeting held yesterday in Thimphu.

HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck said that he believes that the committee should be strong and it needs to work as a team and have IRC objectives.

Secretary General with Bhutan Olympic Committee, Sonam Karma Tshering, said that the idea to collect information on all the memoranda of understandings (MoU) signed by the National Olympic committee (NOC) was challenging since some of them were kept in the member countries. “We discussed to try and set up a sub-committee but the committee right now is small and there was no need for a sub-committee.”

For the promotion of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the 2018 Asian Games, the committee will develop a questionnaire and send it to the 45 NOCs under the OCA.

The aim to develop such a questionnaire is for a better understanding of the needs and the support required to develop sports in the region.

The Secretary General said that the OCA could only provide help to respective NOCs if the committee understands issues in the country.

A representative from Hong Kong, Kenneth K K Fok, said that the committee could work to make the OCA understand the needs and importance of different governments. “There are many new up-coming sports and the NOCs and the government do not know how to promote them.”

He said that many countries don’t have e-sport association and with a large involvement of youth in upcoming sports, OCA needs to help develop the sports in different NOCs.

The members of the committee proposed to meet in March next year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Six representatives of five countries attended the meeting yesterday. The member countries of IRC are Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Phurpa Lhamo