HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

31st National University Tongkwao Games opens in spectacular style

Bend it like Beckham

Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

Chiang Mai Pool League

For the love of a game

Golf Whispers

HHH Announcement: Inaugural Charity Fun Run in Chiang Mai

Chiangmai SportRoundup

31st National University Tongkwao Games opens in spectacular style

Flames, fire and balloons

Phitsanu Thepthong and Chin Rattitamakul

Thousands of people, sportsmen and women, attended the 700 Year Anniversary sports stadium on the evening of Children’s Day to witness the opening ceremony of the 31st National University Tongkwao Games. The event was graciously presided over by the representative of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, Air Chief Marshal Rangsarn Disthabanchong.

The evening began with the Monfort College brass brand playing the overture and another Chiang Mai University (CMU) piece in the Lanna style. These were followed by 200 students from Payap University and CMU in a flag waving performance entitled “Spirit and Cheer”.

As a lead-up to the official opening, there were shows beginning with the Power and Rhythm of the Spirit, and cheerleader displays called Light up your Spirit. 6,000 balloons were released followed by fireworks and 200 hot air balloons.

The ceremonial torch lighting was done in spectacular style with athlete Jirasak Suthichart carrying the flame.

These University Tongkwao Games, hosted by Chiang Mai University, have 61 universities throughout the country in competition with more than 6000 athletes competing in 21 categories. The principal sponsor of the games is the TA Orange Company.

Prof Dr Nipon Tuwanon, president of CMU with the chairman of University Affairs Sports Committee Prof Dr Naris Chainasute.

A female fire-dancer prepares herself for her spectacular show.

Dr Pongsak Angkhasith (center) led the sportsmen in the oath of sportsmanship.

Male fire-dancers perform amazing acts.

Athletic Jirasak Suthichart with the ceremonial flame.

Flags representing 61 universities were carried into the arena.

Spectacular fireworks opened the games.

The Dara Academy band marched into the main stadium.

The host CMU team marches into the main stadium.

The cheerleader team from Chiang Mai University was decked out in incredible costumes.

Bend it like Beckham

Yes, girls also accepted in UK Soccer Academy coaching

David Smith

The UK Soccer Academy will be arriving in Chiang Mai on April 3, 2004, offering a level of football coaching not often seen in Thailand. The camp will be held at Prem Tinsulanonda International School, and several other schools in the region have been invited to join. There is a chance for every child to get involved.

FA qualified coaches from England will deliver soccer coaching personally tailored to each child at the camp, both male and female students of all ages.

The key belief is that good football coaching goes beyond teaching children the intricacies of the game. With the UK Soccer Academy children enjoy a challenging week where valuable skills like sportsmanship, communication and social interaction are nurtured in a fun and fulfilling environment.

The aim is for every child to look back with great memories of the week they spent at the UK Soccer Academy.

There are two options for the children:

One: Stay the whole week, with 24-hour professional supervision, and meals and evening activities included. The popularity of this choice means spaces are limited.

Two: The day experience, where children are free to go home in the evening and come again in the morning.

Whichever option a child chooses, the UK Soccer Academy promises a great week.

More information can be obtained from www.uksoc or telephone +44 (1243) 816 658, fax +44 (1243) 771458, [email protected] demy .com

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. 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.

All information either from Fish and Chips, H3 or “ONON” Pub. Or look at the websites at:

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

Chiang Mai Pool League

For the love of a game

Linda Buck

There are many reasons why a person leaves the country of their birth, their family and friends to start a new life - mostly not for the reason we did it - for the love of a game, the game of cricket.

Why did two relatively sane people come to Thailand for one week and decide to stay?

From the playground...

Challenge - offer a challenge that seems impossible, and there are a small minority who will not be able to resist. The gauntlet had been thrown down 12 years earlier when we had decided to buy a lease on a hotel with 12 acres and turn the grounds into a cricket pitch. Most of our friends and family thought we were mad.

I ran the hotel and restaurant and my husband built the cricket pitch. He had played county cricket and is an England Coaching Board Level III Coach, so he also worked full time during the winter, coaching. We then got a side together from the local pub and other ‘cricket’ venues, and for the next 12 years gave the hotel over completely to cricket tours from May to September, enabling us to survive when a lot of hotels did not. The lease was coming to an end and we were looking for the next ‘challenge’.

Puttivat Poshyanonda, chairman C.M.S.C.A., David Walker (coach-C.M.S.C.A.), David Buck (coach-C.M.S.C.A.) Peerawat Duangthip and Yotsakorn Chairprom at Under 13 Tuanku Ja’afar Cup 2003 tournament dinner.

Meanwhile a founder member of the Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance had been looking at the possibility of a coach, as the boys who were interested in playing cricket needed to move on to a more structured level of coaching. My husband, David Buck, was recommended to him.

To the test ground ... Peerawat Duangthip and Yotsakorn Chaiprom.

The challenge was there - “Put together a cricket side of Thai youth who will be professional enough to represent Thailand in two years time. You have no proper ground, no kit and no translator - what do you think?”

The one thing the members of Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance did have, though, was incredible enthusiasm, love of the game, the will to make it work, and the belief that they could do it. That’s all you need isn’t it?

So we took on the challenge, arrived here in October 2003, David to work and me, well I had decided to write a best seller, perhaps do a bit of shopping, sunbathing, emailing - the first time since I was 16 that I hadn’t worked, and I was going to enjoy it. Well, that’s what I thought I was going to do, but that word, “challenge” sprung up again.

I saw the plans for the first ever Cricket Academy in Thailand, which was going to be in Chiang Mai, I saw the children playing cricket on the school playgrounds in flip flops, I saw their faces break out in the most fantastic smile when they hit the ball, or caught a ball, and well, that best seller didn’t seem that important.

I’m Linda Buck, now marketing & promotional manager for Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance. My challenge is to raise the funds to pay for children playing cricket to have kit (shoes would be nice!), proper equipment and most importantly a ground to play on.

The land is now being rented and the dream is becoming a reality.

I know a lot of you must be thinking that there are an awful lot more worthwhile causes in Chiang Mai. Remember though that some of these children are orphans, some (most) are poor, and their lives do not have an awful lot of joy. In cricket they have found a sport that they are good at, they have the companionship of their team, and they have something to smile about.

I have been here three months; well that’s a long enough break for anyone isn’t it?

Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance will be holding their first fundraising event on Sunday February 1. The boys will be playing cricket from 10 a.m. to 12.00 noon at the Chiengmai Gymkana Club. Spectators will be more than welcome. Come and see what we are going to achieve.

I really hope that there is at least one ‘cricket nut’ reading this article who feels he would like to help us with this project - wouldn’t you just love to have your business name on one of the boundary banners when the first Cricket Academy in Thailand is finished?

If you would like further information about the Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance, please contact Linda Buck on 053 426101 or email on [email protected]

Golf Whispers

Kitty Sornkaew

What does Chiang Mai and other northern provincial towns possess that we cannot feel or see in most other parts of Thailand? Is it only its history and multi-cultural diversity, the local friendliness, its beautiful geographical features or its splendid climate?

Believe me there is more to it than that. Golf started out here over 100 years ago at the famous Gymkhana Club, Tambon Nonghoi. Now there are more than 30 courses in the northern section of Thailand and six within Chiang Mai province. They feature natural contours, rivers, seasonal flowers, pine trees and fully equipped clubhouses. The government’s efforts to make Chiang Mai the future hub in the Mekhong region isn’t beyond its reach.

Discovery Golf

The Gassan Group will open a new 18 hole championship golf course this May 2004, called “Gassan Khuntan Golf and Resort”, Maeta Sub-district (Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway, 40 minute drive from Chiang Mai Central City). The press conference will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2004. This will be the first spa resort and golf in Chiang Mai. Contact Sumalee Kungna (general manager) at the Gassan Driving Range for membership rate. Contact tel. no. 053 321 571. The first hundred members will receive a special rate.

Croker Golf System Academy, Chiang Mai (opening soon)

This is part of the world renowned Croker Golf System Academy with ongoing connection for quality control directly from Peter Croker and the first one outside Europe in South East Asia. Other Croker golf instructors are based around academies in USA, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, South Africa and now Thailand.

The same system has been used by world class golf professionals like Vijay Singh, Fred Funk, John Daly, Curtis Strange, Sandy Lye, Arnold Palmer and many more top golf professionals. The academy in Chiang Mai will consist of at least two licensed Croker Golf Instructors. Both of whom will have at least 10 years teaching experiences.

Golf Tips from Peter Croker

The hands are the source of motion. This is NEW news in today’s world of golf. During the last 20 years much of the golf instruction has been trying to take the hands out of the golf swing. If you had an eye surgeon operating on your eyes, would you want him to move the scalpel with his body? Arms? Or maybe, with his hands? In the first place you would want an expert surgeon who has educated hands. Croker Golf System focuses on “What educated hands are in golf,” and bringing the importance of educated hands back into the game of golf. Pure and simple.

HHH Announcement: Inaugural Charity Fun Run in Chiang Mai

“Help us to help kids”

On Saturday, 23 March 2004, the Chiang Mai Hash House Harriers and the Irish Pub are having a Charity Fun Run to raise funds for the disabled kids of the Chiang Mai Disabled Center’s Wheelchair Clinic. Recipients will include children and young adults of all ages.

It shall be a cross-country run, with a walk for those who cannot run. A fee of B.500 will be charged, which includes a free special events shirt, a free Guinness (for St. Patrick’s Day) at the B stop, free beer after the run, free soft drinks, free BBQ after the run at the Irish Pub, with beer, and spot prizes and lucky draws.

The run is open for everyone, individuals, families, and teams alike. Company teams are very welcome to participate - assist a worthy cause, wear your own corporate outfits, and promote your business at the same time.

The run itself shall be set by HHH Hares, and shall be across easy-running and beautiful Chiang Mai countryside.

The organizers hope to make this an annual event, to support a great cause and have a good time as well. It’s also a good chance to see how the Hash House Harriers of Chiang Mai operate. Good time guaranteed, and some transport will be provided.

For more information or registration, contact “Kiwi” at Fish & Chip Shop, Ratchawitti Road (opp. Irish Pub Sandy), on 053 418 210.