HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai youngster heading for South African World Cup,

Thai girls set to shine at Chiang Mai Sixes

The 6th Hang Dong Games close in colorful ceremony

Chiang Mai youngster heading for South African World Cup,

Craig Rodgers
Prem Tinsulanonda International School student, Tawun Gregory, has been selected to play in the Football For Hope tournament in South Africa, an international street football tournament which coincides with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This tremendous honour recognises not only Tawun’s football talent but his life-long commitment to humanitarian service.

Tawun, right, joins a KKL teammate holding the Gothia Cup trophy.

Tawun will play for the ‘The Kids League’, a Ugandan team. Tawun lived in Uganda with his family as a boy. Here, he started his passion for football, touring the country, playing football but also promoting awareness of health issues for players and families. Tawun played football with The Kampala Kids League (KKL), which organised football clinics for children from all walks of life. The Kids League (TKL), a sister organisation, works with Ugandan children throughout the country including the poor north where conflict continues to blight many children’s lives.

Tawun’s father, Rick, works with the Food and Agriculture Organisation branch of the United Nations, and sister, Nichar, is in her third year studying Ecology and Conservation hoping to serve in a related career. As such, Tawun has grown up in a family supporting the spirit of internationalism with a sense of his privileged position in our world. In recognition of his service to football, the underprivileged and Africa, Tawun was selected to participate in this prestigious tournament.

The experience with KKL formed a powerful motivation in Tawun’s life. He has continued to develop his football skills, being selected to train with junior Thai national football squads, and has trained with Alan Sparkes as part of the Prem Football Academy and currently plays with the Chiang Mai district team. When a dear friend and football fan was killed in a motorcycle accident, Tawun and friends were quick to organise a memorial football tournament in the boy’s honour. This tournament was significant in bringing people together across Chiang Mai to remember a dear friend which celebrated their shared love of football.

In addition to his football commitments, Tawun has made an extensive contribution to service. He has built houses as part of Habitat for Humanity projects, worked at Mae Ping elephant camp and taught English in village schools. Tawun organised the first student-led dive trip for Prem students. This activity required students to give up some of their holidays to learn dive skills which were then used to explore the impact of tourism and local industries on coral reefs. He has also coached the Prem U13 football team.

As a Football for Hope ambassador, Tawun is conscious of his role to promote the power of football to support social justice and peace. Teams taking part will represent organisations from around the world that use football to tackle issues such as ethnic violence, environmental pollution, HIV/Aids and landmine education. Tawun will also share his knowledge and care for social change issues in Thailand.

In the games to be played, there will be no referees – any disagreements between the teams will be resolved through dialogue – as, for the first time ever, the social dimension of the game will be integrated into an official event of the FIFA World Cup.

The Prem community is very proud of Tawun for this honourable selection and wishes him every success and a wonderful learning experience in South Africa this July. Those interested in learning more about Football for Hope can log on to If you would like to support fundraising for the The Kids League please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

The Kampala Kids League football team from Uganda, with Tawun fifth from right, lines up in Gothenburg, Sweden at the Gothia youth football tournament.

Thai girls set to shine at Chiang Mai Sixes

From left, members of the 23rd Chiang Mai Sixes committee, Eric Little, Maurice Bromley, Renita Bromley, Puttivat Poshyanondo, and David Walker announce the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes which started Sunday March 28.

Shana Kongmun
At a press conference held Thursday, March 25, at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club, Tournament Director Maurice Bromley was joined by Grounds Manager Eric Little, Financial Manager Renita Bromley, David Walker, in charge of media, and Puttivat (Parn) Poshyanondo, Chairman of the Chiang Mai Cricket Foundation and of the Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance, to announce the beginning of the 23
rd Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes tournament.

Chiang Mai’s cricketing superstars: Parn, Oil & Jeen.

Play began on Sunday, March 28, with the matches expected to be fast and furious in the usual sixes format. In addition to the 32 teams competing this year, three ladies teams are also taking part, two of those teams consisting entirely of Thai nationals. On Thursday and Friday, April 1 and 2, the children will also get their turn in the Junior Cricket matches for the 11th Sawasdee Cup.

In order to encourage the development of cricket in Thailand a simplified version of cricket, or Sawasdee Cricket, was introduced to Chiang Mai schools in 2000. Twenty international cricketers have been developed since the inception of the program 10 years ago and they have gone on to represent Thailand in 7 countries.

The Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance is most excited about their up and coming young women players with three of the girls, Jeen, Oil and Parn, currently undergoing training in Bangkok with trips planned later in the year to Australia and Bangalore for intensive coaching. One of the girls, although just 14, has already been chosen to play for the National team in the upcoming Asian Games.

When Roger Binney, a former Indian Test and ODI cricketer in 2005 watched a junior cricket tournament at Siamoon School, Hang Dong in his role as Development Officer for the Asian Cricket Council, little could he or anyone else present there have believed that from those young potential cricketers playing on that day, six would go on to become Thailand international players.

Jeen, Oil and Parn all started playing cricket together at the Prince Royal’s College in 2005 and have played together ever since. Jeen has already played with the Thailand senior women’s team which traveled to Malaysia for the 20/20, while all three have played in the U -19 Thailand Women’s team. A remarkable feat considering their tender years.

Meanwhile three Chiang Mai boys have already played in the U16 Thailand team in Nepal for the ACC U16 Elite Cup 2010. It all augurs well for the future of cricket, not only here in Chiang Mai but also in the nation as a whole as the popularity of the sport increases at all levels.

In this year’s senior sixes tournament, the visiting international teams were given a surprise greeting last week from Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva who learned the game during his time in England. The PM said in a message to the players: “I am very happy to send my greetings once again to the cricketers and friends of the 23rd Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes. Although I have not been near a cricket ball since my school days in England, I have great memories of trying to play the game and an enduring respect for the ethics of ‘fair play’ that the game of cricket embodies.

“Until recently, cricket had not been considered a Thai sport, but the Sawasdee Cricket Programme is now flourishing in an increasing number of primary schools throughout the length and breadth of the Kingdom. I hope you will continue to support this wonderful sporting initiative which is proving to be so beneficial to Thai children.”

Tournament Director Maurice Bromley added, “We believe this game is suitable for Thailand; you don’t need to be tall or broad but you do have to have good coordination. Thais have incredibly good coordination. We have been guests in this country for many years and we want to put back in the country by helping them learn and love this sport through the tournament and the Sawasdee Cricket Programme.”

The games in the Chiang Mai Sixes tournament are being played throughout this week on a daily basis beginning at 9:30 AM and finishing at 5 PM. Food and drink is available at the venue with many popular local restaurants setting up booths at the ground. Admission is free and spectators are enthusiastically welcomed to the historic 112-year old Chiengmai Gymkhana Club on the old Lamphun Road.

The 6th Hang Dong Games close in colorful ceremony

Nopniwat Krailerg
The 6
th annual Hang Dong Games came to a vibrant close last Sunday, March 21, following eight weeks of sporting spectacle involving teams and individuals from the 10 local administrative organizations in the Hang Dong district.

Successful participants at the 6th Hang Dong Games receive their trophies during the closing ceremony held at the Nong Tong Sports Stadium, Hang Dong on Sunday, March 21.

The Games are held each year with the aim of creating harmony and unity among the administrative organizations’ members, and as a way of promoting exercise and healthy living. The teams participated in sports such as football, volleyball, aerobic dancing, petanque, and cheer leading.

The closing ceremony was presided over by Surapong Towichakchaikul, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiang Mai, at the Nong Tong Sports Stadium, Hang Dong district. Surapol Sattayarak, Hang Dong chief district officer, and Pradit Waneesorn, mayor of Nong Tong Pattana Tambon municipality also attended the event as VIP guests.

Following a flag bearing parade and a colorful ceremony to honour His Majesty the King, a prize giving presentation got underway in which trophies were handed out to all the winning teams. The ceremony closed with the official flag being handed over to the next hosts of the Games in 2011.