The President, Executive Board and Management of the NOC Malaysia extend their heartfelt condolences to the family members of Major General Charouck Arirachakaran, who passed away peacefully on Monday, 21st August 2023, at the age of 91.
The late Major General Charouck was a great sport leader in Thailand who had contributed tremendously towards the Olympic Movement in Thailand as well as at the region of Southeast Asia, at Asia Continent and at the world for more than 5 decades.
He was elected to serve as the Deputy Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT) for 13 years from 1973 to 1984 before taking over the position of Secretary General of NOCT in 1985. He had re-developed the Olympic Movement in Thailand in his 38 years of services from 1985 till his retirement in 2022. He was then appointed as the Honorary Life President of NOCT since 2022.
During his tenure with the NOCT, Thailand won the first Olympic medal in the Olympic Games i.e. the XXI Olympic Games Montreal 1976 when he was the Deputy Chef de Mission of the Thai Contingent. To date, the Thai Contingent has accumulated a total of 35 Olympic medals (10 golds, 8 silvers and 17 bronzes) since the XXI Olympic Games Montreal 1976 till the XXXII Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
He was the permanent Deputy Chef de Mission and Chef de Mission of the Thai Contingent to all the Multi-Sport Games under the jurisdiction of NOCT as follows:
• Deputy Chef de Mission (1975)
• Chef de Mission (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 & 2001),
• Deputy Chef de Mission (1974)
• Chef de Mission (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 & 2002)
• Deputy Chef de Mission (1972, 1976 & 1984)
• Chef de Mission (1988, 1992, 1996 & 2000).
His contributions towards the Olympic Movement in the Southeast Asia Region was phenomena having served as a Council Member of the South East Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) from 1989 to 1997 before being appointed as Honorary Member of the SEAGF since 1998. He was the one who had initiated the establishment of the SEAGF Office to coordinate the rotation and the organisation of the biennial SEA Games, to foster greater cooperation and exchange of ideas among all the 11 SEAGF Member NOCs, of which he was the first Chief of Office from 2011 till 2020.
At the continent and world levels, he had served as Executive Board Member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) since 1986 before being elected as Vice President of OCA for South East Asia Zone since 1995. He was also elected to serve as an Executive Committee Member of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) since 1986.
In recognition of his services and contributions towards the Olympic Movement in all these years, he was conferred the OCA Merit Award on Wednesday, 9th July 1994, the Olympic Order on Sunday, 20th February 2000, the ANOC Merit Award on Tuesday, 24th February 2004 and the SEAGF Lifetime Achievement Award – the Order of the Golden Rings on Thursday, 4th May 2023.
Besides the above, the late Major General Charouck was involved heavily in the development of the sports of Athletics, Boxing, Football, Hockey and Sepaktakraw.
He was elected to serve as Secretary General of the Athletics Association of Thailand (AAT) from 1971 to 1983, then as Vice President from 1983 to 1993. He was one of the founding members of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) in the early 1970s and elected to serve the AAA as its Vice President for 20 years from 1973 to 1993. He was appointed as the Honorary Life Vice President of the AAA since 1994.
He was elected to serve as Treasurer of the Amateur Boxing Association of Thailand (ABAT) from 1978 to 1980.
He was elected to serve as the Treasurer of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) from 1973 to 1977, then as the Secretary General from 1977 to 1980.
He was elected to serve as the Treasurer of the Hockey Association of Thailand (HAT) from 1972 to 1978.
He was elected as the second President of the Takraw Association of Thailand (TAT) from 1987 to 1990 and re-elected in 1992 to serve in the same position until his last breath. He was also fully responsible in the establishment of the International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) in 1992 and the Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (ASTAF) in 1995. He was the Founding President of both ISTAF and ASTAF since the inception of both federations in the 1990s. He was one of the sport leaders in Southeast Asia who had worked hard for the inclusion of Sepaktakraw in the sport programme of the Asian Games since the 11th Asian Games Beijing 1990 prior to the establishment of ISTAF and ASTAF. Due to his great effort in promoting the development of Sepaktakraw in Thailand, Thailand remains the best performing country in Sepaktakraw for the Asian Games by having won 32 medals (26 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze) from 1990 to 2018. He was appointed as Honorary Life President of ASTAF when he stepped down from the presidency of ASTAF in 2004.
“The demise of Major General Charouck Arirachakaran is an immense loss to the Olympic Movement and the entire sporting fraternity in Asia”,
“The NOC Malaysia too has lost a great friend who had been a thoughtful leader with his insights especially in the organisation of the SEA Games as well as the Asian Games”,
“May his soul rest in peace” said the President of NOC Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri (Dr). Mohamad Norza Zakaria.