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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thailand’s national hockey team gets ready for Asian Winter Games

Mass Media defeats TAT and Tourist Police

New chairman for CMSCA

Thailand’s National Olympic Ice Hockey Team - Goes to Japan

The Square Ring

Fitness Tips

Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Thailand’s national hockey team gets ready for Asian Winter Games

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Thailand’s national team hockey has been training in Chiang Mai for the Winter Asian Games in Japan. The 22 players in the national hockey team came to Kad Suan Kaew’s ice skating stadium for practice before joining in the 5th Winter Asian Games at Aomori, Japan which will be held during the period January 31 to February 8. This year is also the first time that Thailand’s hockey team has participated in an international tournament.

Thailand’s National Hockey Team prepares for their first international match during the 5th Winter Asian Games.

Captain Sakchai Chinanuvatana said the team is ready to take part in the Winter Asian Games. They had spent four hours every day for practice with their Canadian coach, Aaron Story (see related article page 30). Although the stadium is much smaller than the international standard, this is not considered a problem for a training session.

The government budget to support the team has been approved, and no problems are expected. Hopes are that the team would be ranked fourth or fifth following Japan, China, South Korea and North Korea. Thailand will also participate in two other sports, cross country skiing and figure skating.

Before ending the training camp, the Flying Farang team of expat hockey players from Bangkok came to practice with the national squad at Bully Ice Skate, Kad Suan Kaew. The national team beat the Flying Farangs 11-2.


Mass Media defeats TAT and Tourist Police

The Chiang Mai Mass Media defeated the combined team of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Office and the Tourist Police 2-1 in a traditional football friendly match played at Wing 41 football field last weekend.

Chiangmai Mail editor Phitsanu Thepthong, seated 2nd from left, scored the first goal of the game for the Mass Media team, which went on to defeat the TAT and Tourist Police 2-1 in a football friendly.

Chiangmai Mail editor Phitsanu Thepthong scored the first goal of the game for the visiting mass media team (in gray) against the host TAT and Tourist Police team (in red).

The two teams then played evenly in the second half, with both teams scoring one goal each.

Clash of the Titans - the Mass Media team (in gray) do battle with the TAT and Tourist Police (in red) on the football pitch.

This was the final game of the year for the two friendly rivals. The two teams will meet each other again next year.

The dinner reception and thank you party, which also marked the New Year, was hosted by TAT’s Chiang Mai Office director, Chalermsak Suranant at the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand building at Chiang Mai International Airport.


New chairman for CMSCA

The Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance (CMSCA) welcomed Puttivat Poshyanonda (Parn) as their new chairman. Parn is an experienced wicket keeper and managed the Thai Thevada cricket team in the 1980s and 1990s. He also played for the Thai Thevadas at the Chiang Mai Cricket Sixes in 1990 to 1994. Somboon Suprasert and Sakont Phongphuttakhun have accepted invitations to be patrons of the CMSCA. Peter Dawson remains secretary for the CMSCA.


Thailand’s National Olympic Ice Hockey Team - Goes to Japan

New coach, Canadian Aaron Story

So how does a Canadian and former Canadian ice hockey teacher, player and coach end up head coach of Thailand’s National Ice Hockey Team? “He created it,” says his dad.

Canadian Aaron Story (back row, 7th from right) has taken on the job of coaching Thailand’s National Ice Hockey Team, which is currently competing at the 5th Winter Asian Games in Japan.

The current Thailand resident is hunkered down in his new job as Team Thailand’s first ever head coach. The grandson of Canadian Hockey Hall of famer Howie Meeker, Aaron Story has been a regular visitor to Thailand for a number of years and spent pretty much all of 2002 here. According to Aaron ‘s dad, Howard, there are two ice surfaces in Thailand, one in Bangkok and a second, where the Thai National team train and where Aaron Story now calls home, in Chang Mai.

Aaron was approached about the position and signed on full time Nov 20, 2002 and started the same week. Since then Aaron has immersed himself in the job and has been putting in long shifts preparing Team Thailand for the Asian Winter Games slated to start Feb 1 in Japan. The big challenge will be getting up to speed with Japan, who lost 6-1 to Team Canada in the Winter Olympics.

Thailand may not be an ice hockey hotbed, but it is no stranger to Canada’s national sport. Hockey has been around in Thailand since there have been expats. The “Flying Farangs” have been in Bangkok for years. Asked about Aaron and the Thailand Team, his father Howard Story said, “I know he’s got four or five Thai players who have played over in North America, but the rest are all local Thai players who have played in the Asian (leagues).”

Some have tried out for other Asian teams. “For a new team they’re pretty darn good. They really are.” According to the senior Story, Aaron attended Canada’s famous Notre Dame Hockey College in Regina, Canada and played for the legendary Notre Dame Hound’s hockey program there. Aaron benefited greatly from a steady diet of his grandfather’s hockey schools and from the National Canadian Hockey Associations across Canada. “He says he’s really got a program going with lots of on and off ice training, classroom stuff and strategy. He says one of his main challenges is to broaden the play strategy.”

Just to make the new training even trickier, the Thailand team trains on a standard size rink, but the Olympic ice surface they’ll be competing on in Japan has some 12 feet of playing area behind the net. To work around that Aaron has removed one net and turned the whole ice surface into a half ice.

Well schooled and doing what he loves, Aaron Story also spent seven years teaching and coaching in Canada at Howie Meeker Hockey Schools across North America. Aaron, says his dad, may be busy, “but he is loving every minute of it.” Aaron has been on skates since he was four years old, he’s played hockey all his life and taught hockey all over Canada and the United States. “The skills he’s got he got from his grandfather. He learned a lot from Howie Meeker who coached Canada’s Toronto Maple Leafs.” Aaron spent three seasons with Canada’s Parksville Generals hockey team as a forward under coach Dave Johnson.

“He’s a tough guy,” Meeker chuckled when asked for some insight about his grandson Aaron. “His skills are good, mentally and physically, he’s a good coach. He’s been going to Thailand long enough, he knows the Thai customs. What they must need more than anything else is skills, and Aaron can really teach skills.”

Thailand’s National Olympic Ice Hockey team left for Japan on January 26 for the 5th Winter Asian Games to be held at Aomori, Japan through February 8. The games will encompass 6 sports and 54 events.


The Square Ring

By now most everyone knows that Kostya Tszyu (30-1) successfully defended his undisputed (140 lbs) world title before 35,000 Australian supporters with a “could not come out of the 7th” TKO of Jesse James Leija (43-6-2). The Telestra Dome in Melbourne was rocking, so many probably failed to realize that Tszyu didn’t look sharp in the very early rounds and was fighting from behind when Leija’s dad told the referee his son could not continue. “I busted my eardrum. I lost my equilibrium, my balance,” said Leija. Tszyu put forth the opinion that sometimes you get hit hard and often enough you lose your balance.

There were a couple of surprising aspects to the fight. First that Tszyu’s one fight a year plan is not working, as he can’t afford to give away rounds while the rust is scraped off. Secondly is how Thailand judge Noppharat Sricharoen could have possibly scored the fight 60-54 for Tszyu when it was stopped. Possible that he marked his scorecard before he boarded his plan at Don Muang.

Next up for Tszyu will probably be Arturo Gatti (35-6) sometime in the fall in New York’s Madison Square Garden. It makes good sense as Gatti is popular there after his two wars against Irish Mickey Ward. The first fight against Ward was named Fight of the Year in 2002 by most boxing experts. Yes even I. Giving the possibility of a Tszyu-Gatti fight even more creditability is the fact that the IBF (International Boxing Federation) recently made Gatti the number one contender. That means that if Tszyu wants to keep the IBF belt, and he does, a mandatory bout against Gatti is in the offing. But then that’s what I just said.

There might have been a new star born, or at least christened, on the undercard when Mohamed Abdullaev (11-0) stopped former champ Philip Holiday (38-6-1) 55 seconds into the 4th round. If the name sounds familiar Abdullaev won the 139-pound Gold Medal at the Olympics in Sydney. To capture that he took a 27-20 decision over American Ricardo Williams who is also undefeated as a professional at 8-0 with 5 KOs. Look for Abdullaev to get a real title shot within 18 months. “Real title shot?” His win against Holiday presented him with the “very” prestigious WBO Inter-Continental Title, himself typed dripping with sarcasm. That “real title shot”, such as it is, will probably come against WBO Champ DeMarcus Corley (28-1-1) as that’s the only title Tszyu doesn’t own.

Want to put to bed a myth that’s been around for a couple of years. Once it was true but now it’s all posturing. Kostya Tszyu is not a GREAT fighter and the 140-pound division is not the best in boxing. Tszyu is an honest fighter that gives you 110%. Can’t have a column without at least one clich้’. That in the books, Tszyu will never be a superstar anywhere but in Australia. He’s a nice guy but doesn’t have the “Oscar Flash”. One Yank Idiot, not to be confused with Yank idiots in general, said, “Tszyu will never be a star in American because he doesn’t do enough trash talking.” The idiot is Steve Albert who holds on to his announcing job obviously because he still has some photos from Christmas parties past. Yanks NEVER take to foreign athletic heroes.

The 140-pound division is but a mere shadow of what it used to be. When the likes of Trinidad, Mosley and DeLaHoya were around it was the best. They’ve moved on and up. The 140 pound class now is relegated to Zab Judah (28-1), Sharmba Mitchell (50-3), Ben Tackie (24-3) and a never fought anyone Ricky Hatton (31-1). The champ has beaten the first three and the fourth has no intention of getting in the ring with him. In short, it’s an interesting group. Nothing more and nothing less.

Maybe I should temper my comments in regard to British jr. welter Ricky Hatton (31-0; 24 KOs). At 24 years old and everything ahead of him he could certainly develop into someone that could take control of the division down the road. He is the WBU Champion, for what that’s worth, and is taking a “baby step” up in competition when he defends against veteran “Cool” Vince Phillips (44-7-1) on April 5 in Manchester. Phillips did not look good in his last outing when losing to Sharmba Mitchell. Phillips can claim that he’s the only fighter to beat Kostya Tszyu as a pro. True fact. He’s the “1” in the 30-1. So if Hattan wins, as expected, he can claim, “I’m the guy that beat the guy that beat Kostya Tszyu.” That’s probably worth a lot more than being the WBU Champ. How about them apples?


Fitness Tips

The young and the not so young

G’day readers, this week we take a look at the possibilities of participating in regular exercise for those of us not “18-25 years of age”.

Seen recently at Dusit Resort Sports Club Christmas Party, an underfed Santa with a very strange accent, distributing presents to all the good boys and girls that worked hard all year. Well done all and keep it up, you know you love it.

It’s never too late to start exercising

A new study published in a recent issue of Circulation: The Journal of the American Heart Association revealed that six months of regular exercise could reverse the damage of 30 years of aerobic inactivity.

Two separate studies were conducted involving the same five men. The original study conducted in 1966 looked at the negative impact of bed rest on physical fitness. The second conducted thirty years later analysed the benefits of a six-month training program including a variety of cardiovascular activities.

The fitness level of the five men had significantly declined over the 30-year period with their VO2max (the measure of the maximum amount - Volume of Oxygen they can use) decreasing by an average 12%; body weight increasing 25% and their body fat percentage escalating 100% - Doubling the body fat stores from an average of 25% of body weight when aged 30 to 50% of body weight when aged 60.

On the completion of the six-month training program their VO2 max had increased by 14%, from 2.9 to 3.3 litres/minute (translates to a highly encouraging not only increase but final figure as well), which was slightly higher than when it was tested in 1966 (when they were young and ‘fit’). The program not only restored these men to their previous levels of fitness as recorded 30 years earlier but also slightly increased it after only six months of training.

“The studies indicate that middle-aged men can actually reverse many of the negative results of non-exercise, even after being physically inactive for a long time,” said Benjamin Levine, MD, the study’s co-author and the medical director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, USA.

The bottom line is it’s never too late to start, which is positive news for anyone, of and age, contemplating how to improve lifestyle.

Physical guidelines for infants and toddlers

While we have long been saying it’s never too late to start exercising, apparently you can never be too young either. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in the USA recommends that children should be encouraged to be physically active from birth.

NASPE claim that children who are physically active from an early age will learn to move more skilfully by promoting motor skill confidence. They warn that children should not be confined to playpens, strollers or infant seats for hours at a time as it may delay physical and cognitive development and hinder physical activity participation in later life.

The activity recommendations are based on developmental characteristics of children, and are specifically designed to meet these needs.

The guidelines for infants and toddlers include:

* Infants should interact with parents and/or caregivers in daily physical activities that are dedicated to promoting the exploration of the infants’ environment.

* Infants should be placed in safe settings that facilitate physical activity and do not require restricting the infants’ movement for prolonged periods of time.

* Infants’ physical activity should promote the development of movement skills.

* Toddlers should accumulate at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day; preschoolers should accumulate at least 60 minutes per day.

* Toddlers and preschoolers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours of unstructured physical activity per day and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.

* Toddlers should develop movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movements tasks; preschoolers should develop competence in these movement skills.

While no similar guidelines have been released in Australia to date, this helps to support the argument that children should be involved in physical activity from a very early age to combat Australia’s growing obesity epidemic. Australia is not alone in this problem area.

So, if you are planning on having your youngster growing up to be 20 years from now’s equivalent of Tiger Woods, David Beckham or Serena Williams get them enjoying movement early and find something that they enjoy so they don’t feel like they are being forced into it.

Carpe’ Diem


Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

CH3, the oldest hash club (males) in Chiang Mai is picked up from the “ONON” pub (Moon Mueng Soi 1) at 16.00 once every 2 weeks (hence: on 18-11, 2-12, 16-12, 30-12 and 13 01 2003). Pick up can be arranged from Fish and Chips shop as well.

CSH3 is a mixed Saturday hash which is picked up from the H3 Pub on Moon Mueng Road every Saturday at 15.30. Pick up can be arranged from Fish and Chips shop as well.

CUMH3 is a male hash which runs from the “ONON” Pub every consecutive (from CH3) Tuesday. Pick up is at 16.00.

BH3 is a female hash (Harriettes) that runs once a month on the last Sunday of the month.

We also have two so-called outstations coming up: A male hash outstation to Bangkok on 7, 8, 9 December and a mixed outstation to Chiang Dao on 14 & 15 December. All information either from Fish and Chips, H3 or “ONON” Pub. Or look at the websites at: http://www.thai-american.com/hhh/

It’s great fun and you surely get value for your money plus you get to meet all the long-time expats here!