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Thanyapura Phuket to Train Thai Athletes for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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One of Asia's premier sports training and education destination, Thanyapura Phuket, has unveiled an elite programme that aims to tap the very best young Thai athletes and propel them towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by providing them with an unprecedented opportunity to develop their skills at the sporting complex.

Not only will the chosen athletes train with world champions and world-class coaches at Thanyapura's cutting-edge sports facilities, they will also receive an international-standard education at Thanyapura's newly launched boarding school.

Thanyapura's Elite Junior Sport Academies (EJSA) are overseen by its Executive Chairman and four-time triathlon world champion Chris McCormack, who describes the initiative as a 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.

"This could easily be the difference between someone fulfilling their Olympic dream or spending a lifetime wondering," Mr McCormack said. "There's one thing I will guarantee. Through support and encouragement as well as the very best coaching and sports medicine methods, we will do everything humanly possible to extract every ounce of talent out of an athlete."

The first athlete to be selected for a full scholarship into the Elite Junior Sport Academies programme is swimmer Tanakrit 'Nok' Krittaya, 17, who grew up in Chiang Mai and won silver in the 400m freestyle at the 2013 SEA Games. Nok recently qualified to represent Thailand at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China and the Asian Games in Korea.

Nok will join Thanyapura's boarding programme at a purpose-built, state-of-the-art residential facility, where he'll combine an intensive high-performance swim training programme with an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School education at the Phuket International Academy, which shares the 23-hectare Thanyapura campus, located 15 minutes from Phuket International Airport.

Full board and weekday boarding options are available to all students and athletes aged 13 to 18. Exclusive scholarships are available for swimming, triathlon and tennis, which will see gifted athletes streamed into elite international sporting colleges upon successful completion of their secondary education. Thanyapura is accepting applications for full and partial scholarships inclusive of sports training, boarding and education until 30 April 2014.

While Nok adopts the role of ambassador for Thanyapura's Elite Junior Sport Academies, rising tennis star Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul, who led Thailand to victory in the Davis Cup Zone Asia/Oceania first round played at Thanyapura in February, has recently been signed as Sports Ambassador for the complex.

 Wishaya, who has just turned 19, has been very successful in junior tennis and stepped into the international limelight when he passed into Wimbledon's second qualifying round last year. Experts believe that with his 1.93m height advantage and powerful serve, Wishaya has the talent to follow in the footsteps of Paradorn Srichaphan. Under the guidance of Thanyapura's experienced coaching and mentoring team, Wishaya hopes to realize his Olympic dream as early as 2016.

 "I appreciate what it takes to reach the top and that's why I'm here to guide the next generation of Thai athletes to achieve their dreams," Mr McCormack said. "At Thanyapura we deliver the perfect balance of excellence in education and sport, body and mind, health and wellness."

"My family ensured my life was underpinned by a good education and Thanyapura provides a solid foundation in education, sport and emotional growth - giving youngsters the amazing chance to become the best athlete they can be, while receiving a higher education amidst the tropical beauty of southern Thailand. Seriously, it's the sports and education model of the future today."

The knowledge imparted by Mr McCormack, who still competes at the top level at the age of 41, is invaluable. Once dubbed the fittest man on Earth, he is the most successful triathlete of all time, having won more than 220 international races while becoming the only triathlete to be crowned ITU Olympic-distance World Champion (short course) and Ironman World Champion (long course).

Thanyapura and Phuket International Academy will conduct an Open Day on 9 May 2014 with EJSA candidate assessments scheduled on 9 and 10 May, when interested parties can visit the expansive campus and learn about the school's Social Emotional Learning philosophy and IB curriculum, as well as, the Elite Junior Sport Academies programme.

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