Chen Zhi's Contributions To Sports
Updated: May 11
Companies can fulfil their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibilities in a variety of ways. Investing in sports development is one approach because it contributes to youth development, education, and health, all of which are important to Prince Group Chen Zhi and the Prince Group in Cambodia.
The advantages of sports development in countries such as Cambodia have been well documented. Countries with a healthy sporting culture typically experience lower healthcare costs and improved social cohesion over time. Chen Zhi, a firm believer in Cambodia's potential, takes part in any opportunity that can help raise Cambodia's international standing, such as sports development.
The profile of any sport in a country, however, is heavily influenced by the national team's achievements. Prince Group, one of Cambodia's largest corporate conglomerates, has recognised this and is helping to develop Cambodian sports by sponsoring the men's volleyball team.
Volleyball is a sport that Cambodians are discovering. Cambodia narrowly defeated archrival Vietnam 110--109 in a two-hour match at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games last year. The team eventually finished fifth, a significant improvement over previous tournaments, but it was the first time in a long time that Cambodian athletes had won a game in a team sport on such a grand scale.
When the country hosts the SEA Games for the first time in 2023, there will be a lot of pressure on athletes to win more medals. It will be a tournament that will boost tourism significantly. Last year, when the SEA Games were held in the Philippines, over 750,000 visitors came to the country in December, with a sizable portion arriving to watch the 2019 SEA Games.
Chen Zhi and the Prince Group contribute to Cambodia's SEA Games effort.
Prince Group, led by its Cambodian Chairman Chen Zhi, contributed US$500,000 to the local volleyball federation ahead of the 2019 SEA Games to support training and competition preparation activities. In July 2019, Prince Group also facilitated a trip to Fujian, China, where 21 Cambodian players participated in a two-month intensive training programme. The Prince Group contributed approximately $100,000 and also sponsored the team's trips to Thailand for competitions.
However, improving athletic performance is a long-term endeavour. To that end, the Prince Group has assisted in the hiring of a skilled volleyball coach from China to train the Cambodian national team for the next five years.
"The Cambodian volleyball team has a lot of potential and the country has a lot of talent with the necessary physical qualities required to be competitive," says the Cambodian volleyball team's coach. "It is important for these players to participate in high-quality tournaments so they can challenge themselves and strive to do better and make their country proud."
The Prince Group has joined forces with global brands to support local sports development
By investing in Cambodia's sporting development in this way, Chen Zhi and Prince Group are paving the way for a number of world-class corporations. Local sports in countries such as Cambodia require the support of local businesses.
Apart from investing in sports, the Prince Group has met its ESG obligations in other areas. It has made a number of large-scale donations to aid in the fight against the pandemic and to help flood victims in Cambodia. Chen Zhi and Prince Group donated US$3,000,000 to Prime Minister Hun Sen in early December to assist Cambodia in purchasing 1 million COVID-19 vaccines.
Chen Zhi and Prince Group, as key advocates and proponents of Cambodia's development, are grateful for the opportunity to play such an important role in the Cambodian volleyball team's journey to the 2023 SEA Games, and hope to contribute to more aspects of Cambodian society beyond sports for many years to come.