The Acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Raja Randhir Singh. ASIAN GAMES OCA

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has highlighted the important role that its headquarters in Kuwait has played in providing stability and a launch pad for further progress. At the 43rd OCA General Assembly, it was announced that the Government of Kuwait has graciously extended the lease of the OCA headquarters site, which was originally due to expire in September 2024.

The OCA has been based in Kuwait since 1982, during which time the Asian Games have grown into a world-class international multi-sport event, as evidenced by the outstanding success of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last September and October.

In the 42 years since the OCA headquarters was established in Kuwait, the Asian Olympic Movement has progressed, flourished and developed in all five zones. The OCA expressed its appreciation to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for maintaining the headquarters in Kuwait.

This came during the 43rd General Assembly of the OCA held in Bangkok on Saturday. 45 Asian countries attended the Bangkok meeting of the Council, where they discussed various issues, adding that the Council voted to amend almost 70 per cent of its constitution.

The Acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia, Raja Randhir Singh, said, "We all have different ideas and different opinions - but the most important thing is that we show respect and understanding in our work and in our decisions. This is what makes Asia unique in the Olympic Movement - our strength and unity in our diversity."

45 National Olympic Committees at the 43rd OCA General Assembly

Raja Randhir described the meeting as "one of the most important General Assemblies in the history of the OCA because we will be making major changes to our Constitution". He thanked the OCA Constitutional Reform Committee, the OCA Executive Committee and the IOC for their support and guidance, especially the leadership of IOC President Thomas Bach.

"This will enable the OCA to move forward, following the Olympic Charter of the IOC, but also maintaining our autonomy, independence and Asian characteristics," he added. "The reform process is nearing completion - and we need your support and cooperation today to see it through and move forward together.

"We have many reasons to be positive and proud as we move into the next chapter of the OCA's success story." Raja Randhir also expressed his concern about the politicisation of sport in recent months and urged National Olympic Committees to respect the IOC's directives.

Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa said Thailand was ready to serve the OCA again by hosting the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in November this year. "The preparations are timely, especially in terms of budgetary considerations," he said.

The OCA Merit Award was presented to Mr Oybek Kasimov, General Secretary of the Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan. The 3rd Asian Youth Games will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2025. The Games, scheduled for 10-25 September next year, will feature 27 sports, 29 disciplines and 244 events.

The Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) for winning the OCA Sports and Environment Award at the 43rd OCA General Assembly. HAGOC made history by hosting the first-ever Green Asian Games with zero carbon emissions.

OCA grants provisional recognition to three sports

The Olympic Council of Asia granted provisional recognition to three sports at the 43rd OCA General Assembly in Bangkok on Saturday. The three sports federations are the Asian Surfing Federation, the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation and the Asian Lawn Bowls Federation.

OCA Sports Committee Chairman Song Luzeng of China said the three sports had made detailed presentations during an online meeting of the committee on 11 March. This was approved by the OCA Executive Committee on 30 April and given the final seal of approval by the General Assembly on Saturday.

"After serious discussions, the Sports Committee unanimously decided to recommend to the OCA Executive Board and the General Assembly to grant provisional recognition to the Asian Surfing Federation, the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Federation and the Asian Lawn Bowls Federation," Song told the General Assembly.