Chiang Mai youngster heading for South African World Cup,
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
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
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
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
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 www.southafrica.info/2010/footballforhopefestival.htm.
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
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.
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 23rd Chiang Mai
International Cricket Sixes tournament.
Chiang Mai’s cricketing superstars: Parn, Oil &
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
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
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
The 6th 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