HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

King’s Cup Elephant Polo returns on March 22

Fanfare marks opening of 5th Ton Pao Games

Panther’s late order charge in vain

King’s Cup Elephant Polo returns on March 22

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has announced the 2010 dates for the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The highly popular event will take place from March 22 to March 28 in the northernmost region of Thailand known as the Golden Triangle.

This year’s event is once again sponsored by Audemars Piguet - one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious watchmakers - and will see a number of teams go trunk to trunk to win the coveted King’s Cup trophy.

King’s Cup Elephant Polo returns to the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle from March 22-28.

An opening parade and blessing ceremony will be held in Chiang Saen town on the first day of the event to showcase the culture of the Golden Triangle region with northern traditional-style dancers, hill-tribe villagers in traditional costume, elephant spirit men (Khru Ba Yai), and colourfully decorated pachyderms. The parade will mark the kick-off of the weeklong competition held on the banks of the Ruak River, which divides Thailand from Burma.

In just eight years the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has gone from a small two-day event with six teams into a week-long extravaganza, which in 2009 featured 12 teams from four continents, encompassing 40 players from at least 15 countries.

Through its own Elephant Camp located within the grounds of the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle, the property’s focus on the future of Thailand’s pachyderm population forms an integral part of the resort’s operations on an ongoing basis. Resident Elephant Camp Director, John Roberts, worked closely with the Thai government’s Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang to develop Anantara’s camp as an elephant sanctuary and continues to work with them on several ‘big picture’ conservation projects.

To date the tournament has raised over US$250,000 for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment, and mahout training to Thailand’s elephant population, this has been distributed as cash, in the form of pick-up trucks and a custom built elephant ambulance. In recent years, the funds were used to run the ambulance as well as provide housing at the Centre’s elephant hospital allowing it to provide free accommodation as well as medical treatment to any sick elephants in Thailand. These funds also provided a mobile veterinary centrifuge for their mobile elephant clinic.

Proceeds from the 2009 project have been used to ‘rescue rent’ five street elephants to be trained in occupational therapy as part of a joint Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, Chiang Mai University project investigating the benefits of using elephants to treat Autism.

It is estimated that Thailand has around 3,600 domesticated elephants and 1,500 wild elephants. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) fully endorses the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament, having identified it as one of the country’s prime annual special events. It will take place in the grounds of Anantara Resort Golden Triangle, and spectator entrance is free. For more information and directions to the Anantara Resort, check out the website at www.goldentriangle.

Fanfare marks opening of 5th Ton Pao Games

Supoj Thaimyoj
The 5th annual Ton Pao Games kicked off recently in the San Kamphaeng district of Chiang Mai. Boonlert Buranupakorn, president of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization, accompanied by Vichit Boonkangwan, San Kamphaeng District Officer, Sritoon Chaisaowong, mayor of Tambon Ton Pao, and the 10 administrators of local organizations presided over the opening ceremony at the Ban Nong Kong School on Saturday, March 6.

Boonlert Buranupakorn, center, the president of Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization, presides over the opening ceremony of the 5th Ton Pao Games, Saturday, March 6.

The month long games will be held at three venues including the Nong Kong School, the Nongkong School, and San Mahokfah/ San Pakha School in Tambon Ton Pao and will conclude on Saturday, April 3.

The Ton Pao Games were initiated 4 years ago with a view of encouraging young people and members of the general public to engage in more sporting activities to improve overall health and engender a spirit of cooperation. The Games include disciplines such as football, volleyball, sepak takraw, petanque and aerobic dancing.

Panther’s late order charge in vain

Chiang Mai Junior Cricket News

Graeme Monaghan
The Prem Oval was the venue for a CMSCA U-15 League match between Prince Royal’s College and Prem Panthers on Sunday, March 7.

The home team won the toss and chose to field and PRC made a flying start to their innings reaching 50 after only 5 overs, thanks mainly to the hard-hitting Jun Aryi (Jun), a guest player from Watdonchan, who raced to 18 off 15 balls. He was assisted by the PRC captain Mai who made a useful 15, however, what could have easily been a record total didn’t materialise as Jun was dismissed soon after. Some economical bowling from Yumi Sabrina and the captain Richard Bell restricted the run rate to such an extent that PRC only added a further 24 runs in the next 10 overs.

Player of the Match Jun Aryi plays a square cut during the Prince Royal’s College innings.

Having fought their way back into the match the Panthers needed a modest 75 runs to win, however, the innings started disastrously and top order batters were out in quick succession, leaving them reeling on 21 for 6 wickets by the 5th over, including two unfortunate run outs from some good fielding and ill-considered running between the wickets.

Supawatnee Wontan (Tingtang) was the most effective of the bowlers, her straight, zippy deliveries proved too difficult for the batters and she finished her 3 over spell with 2 wickets for 8 runs. Chanchai Bengkamta, making his league debut, also impressed and returned bowling figures of 11 for 1 from 3 overs.

Once again Prem dug deep and managed to get themselves into contention through some determined batting from Kevin and Sabrina. However, the poor start to the innings left the Panthers with too much to do and they finished on 65-7, some 10 runs short of their target.

PRC won by 9 runs and climb to 2nd in the league table. Jun was awarded Player of the Match for his strong batting performance.