Calling all sports fans out there: if you’re new to the ASEAN University Games, don’t worry! We have a short and handy guide on what the AUG is about.
The AUG is considered Southeast Asia’s premier student sports event
In the eyes of many Southeast Asian nations, the AUG is considered second only to the SEA Games and is seen as one of the major sporting events in the region. Indeed, many national stars have participated in these games and have gone on to represent their countries at the senior level.
As recently as the 2014 Games in Palembang, (17th edition), Indonesia’s national television channels dedicated round-the-clock coverage to the AUG. National leaders such as Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej and former Philippines President Gloria Aroyo have also presided over the opening of some of the games.
With the AUGs being seen as a very important fixture in the regional sporting calendar, you can expect plenty of action and competition at the upcoming AUG as Southeast Asian athletes battle it out to be champions in their respective sports.
The ASEAN University Sports Council oversees the organisation of the AUG.
The ASEAN University Sports Council (AUSC) is the organisation that oversees the biannual hosting of the ASEAN University Games (AUG) by its member states on a rotational basis. The members of the AUSC are the national student sports associations of the 11 Southeast Asian nations.
Formed in 1981, the council’s mission is to bring together the university community through the common theme of youth and sports. Since its founding, the AUSC has overseen the successful organisation of 17 AUGs.
The 18th AUG is hosted by Singapore and is organised by the Singapore University Sports Council (SUSC), a member of the AUSC.
Indonesia are the undisputed kings of the AUG
Indonesia is the dominant force in the AUGs, the same way as how Barcelona and Real Madrid are always champions of La Liga. With 11 wins out of 17, Indonesia is far ahead of its closest rivals Thailand (3 wins) and Malaysia (2 wins).
This could be down to the fact that Indonesians treat their sports seriously. Southeast Asia’s largest member state is extremely strong in major sports such as Badminton, Pencak Silat, Swimming, and of course, Wushu.
Can Indonesia extend their three-decade long dominance at this year’s AUG? Stay tuned.
Eight South East Asian nations have hosted the games at least once.
With eleven nations in the Southeast Asian region, it isn’t very much of a surprise that many ASEAN members have hosted the games at least once. In fact, Thailand and Indonesia have hosted four AUGs apiece – the latter hosted the last games in Palembang while the former held the inaugural edition in Chiang Mai.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Malaysia hosted the games thrice, while two-time host Singapore organised the AUGs in 1986 and 1994. Brunei, Laos, The Philippines, and Vietnam have each hosted the games once.
The only countries that have not yet hosted the games are Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Myanmar. That will change in the near future as the latter is due host the 19th AUG in 2018.
East Timor (a non-ASEAN member) participates in the games
A candidate for membership of the ASEAN Community, East Timor (also known as Timor-Leste) has worked hard to make an impact in regional sporting events. Their entry into regional sports first came in 2003 when the newly independent nation participated at the 22nd SEA Games in Hanoi. Their entry into the AUG first came in 2010 when they participated at the 15th Games in Chiang Mai.
East Timor has put in a good showing in all the AUGs so far. At their first games in Chiang Mai, the young nation won 3 bronze medals and finished ahead of Cambodia and Myanmar in the medal standings. They have also won at least one bronze medal in each of the subsequent AUGs.
As the 18th AUG draws closer, you can be sure that East Timor’s young student athletes will strive to grab their country’s first AUG gold medal and do their country proud.
The 18th AUG will be held from 10-19 July 2016 in Singapore. Stay tuned for move coverage of the AUG on www.aug2016.sg!