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Vespas give Chiang Mai ‘Good Vibrations’

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Chiangmai SportRoundup

Vespas give Chiang Mai ‘Good Vibrations’

(With apologies to the Beach Boys!)

Jiraphat Warasin

Chiang Mai awoke to the sputtering sounds of assorted scooters last week as young people took part in a fun Vespa rally.

This Vespa has been decorated in an Egyptian theme. “Ride like an Egyptian”?

The Vespa scooter enthusiasts met at the fair grounds behind the Kamthieng plants market, and the rally, held for the first time in Chiang Mai, was run over a route of about 25 km around the city.

The day’s scootering included games and lectures on wearing safety helmets and the use of headlights, as well as presentations on the road traffic and motorcycle regulations. This was part of the promotional campaign launched by the government to attempt to reduce shameful road toll in this country, one of the worst in the world.

There is no doubt about being able to see this one at night, or during the day if the pilot abides by the “headlight and helmet on” law.

Apiradee Tantiwetchakul, director of the Central Group’s Business Development division, said youth groups in Chiang Mai had organized the Vespa rally for those who wanted to have some fun during their vacation. The main sponsors were JJ Hobby Market, Central Airport Plaza, Kad Luang Airport, Coca Cola, Dee Stone and Veneer Oil.

(From right) Abhiradee Tantiwetchakul of the Central Group, Srisuk Maneesai and Sanhachutha Chirathivat, the Vespa Rally project manager.

The winners of the rally did not quite match Valentino Rossi’s earnings every GP weekend, but Thanandorn Ithiphankul won the 2,000 baht first prize sponsored by Saroj Prathumkhan, the manager of Dee Stone, northern region. Thawatchai Khunara, who came second, received 1,000 baht, while Surasak Puapreeyawattana received 800 baht for coming third.

The Vespas are on their way…

The Chiangmai Mail hopes that all the “Vespists” remember to wear their helmets and turn on their headlights, so we can see them all at the next Vespa rally!

On your marks! Get set! Go!

“Vespists” plan out their strategies for the rally ahead.


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May 1 - Big chance for young football talent

Marion Vogt

All future football hopefuls should be at the 700 Year Anniversary complex on May 1. This is where the Stefan Effenberg Asian Football Academy (AFA) will, in cooperation with the government’s sports and education departments, various service clubs (Lions and Rotary), as well as sport clubs and schools, search for young talent aged 8-17 years old. International football stars in Chiang Mai for this event will be Gabriel Batistuda and Mario Basler, provided their schedule will allow.

Stefan Effenberg, the international football star, winner of the Champions League, multiple German champion and former team captain of Bayern Munich, will personally come to watch over the search for new talent, where the top youngsters will later get the chance to learn at the AFA.

Boys wanting to take part must complete an application form and bring their parents. Each applicant will have a medical check-up and then carry out a minimum of ten football-related sports tests.

All participants will receive a participation certificate and the test results will be evaluated in Bangkok and the most talented applicants will be contacted by mail.

Football tests will include

1. Football dribbling; 3 trials, largest amount of ball contacts, counts.

2. 50 meter sprint.

3. Passing - Exact Distance 10m - 15m - 20m. Two trials with left foot, two trials with right foot. The ball has to be placed as close as possible to a point.

4. Slalom with football. Dribbling with football around 11 obstacles, timed.

5. Long-distance pass. Two trials. The longest distance counts.

6. Five goal shots on a goal with obstacles in it. How many goals scored in the time period.

7. Free kick over obstacles towards goal. How many goals scored.

8. Three interval sprints over 20 meters. Counting of time elapsed.

9. Six penalties. How many goals scored.

10. Three headers towards the goal. How many goals scored.

Talent scouts will be looking at sprinting power, sprinting endurance, bounce and throwing power. A good throw-in is almost as good as a corner cross!

Effenberg’s academy offers spaces for 250 first-rate talents. Fifty successful applicants whose parents can prove they are unable to afford the tuition for this international apprenticeship will receive full scholarships.

For more information, please call or email the Chiangmai Mail office (Marion 053 234 102, [email protected]). We will forward your requests to those who can assist.