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Phuket Sports: IronKids by the kids

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket Sports: IronKids by the kids | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In the build up to IronKids 2012 on December 1, the Phuket Gazette interviewed six participants who will be featured throughout November. The first IronKid is 13-year-old Malaysian, Zoe Bowden.

Phuket Gazette:Why are you competing in the IronKids competition?

Zoe Bowden: To meet new people, to learn from others and also to have some exposure.

Every time you go for a race, there is always something new you’ll learn or pick up.

Also… there are times you learn from your own mistakes as well as others’ [mistakes] in order to improve yourself and how far you’ve stretched your ability.

It’s not about winning all the time but improving my timing and studying what improvements I need to do or not do.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to enjoy the race and have a positive attitude.

What’s your training schedule like?

I train seven days a week. Gym work for 1.5 hours and the other 2.5 hours swimming. I go running six times a week, where I do drills, core muscle exercises and stretching. This is followed by running on the track.

On other days, I do hill work and also run on a trail with my coach.

Cycling is the only sport, whereby, I only have two days of training – and that is during the weekends. This is done together as a group and we cycle out on the road.

Other than that, I will be on the training bike while watching television for about 30 minutes, doing my cadence (timing exercises).

Which is your favorite part of the IronKids race – swim, bike or run?

My background is in swimming and middle distance running, as they are my two major disciplines.

I swim with the PRAKL (Kuala Lumpur Amateur Swimming Association) Elite Swim Team, and I swim for the state; that is the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

In the afternoon, after school, before my swimming lesson, I go for track training with the Kuala Lumpur Sports School Team. I am a swimmer and an athlete and I represent a state (KL) within Malaysia.

These are my specialties and I have trained for them from a very young age.

Which is your hardest part of the IronKids race, swim, bike, run?


It was a matter of training hard on the bike and getting used to the idea that this is a continuous sport starting with swimming and then moving onto cycling and running.

Cycling is not my specialty and the thought of falling off the bike at a fast speed was a little scary.

What do you hope to achieve at this year’s IronKids?

To improve my timing and hopefully win my age category again. I’m not sure about being the overall winner for all age categories, as this year I’m not here by myself, but as a team from Malaysia.

One of my fellow triathletes is an elite athlete and he is definitely faster than me no doubt, so watch out for him.

What other sports do you play?

I used to play football and basketball but stopped when I took up triathlon.

Now I don’t really do any contact sports as it could affect my performance in triathlon if I pick up an injury.

Other than that, the only sports I allow myself to do are cross-country; athletics that involve running on track and road, and kayaking when I am on holidays.

When did you start competing in sporting events?

I started competing at the age of 8, in swimming and running competitions for the school and inter-school. From this, I slowly entered bigger competitions out of the country.

Why do you like them (sporting events)?

I like them as I enjoy doing sports and this is also a form of physical fitness for me.

The other benefit is I get to meet different people all the time, which gives me the opportunity to learn from others and share their knowledge and experience.

Who’s your favorite athlete?

I do not have one but a few I like are: Missy Franklin (swimming), Mo Farah (athletics) and Mark Cavendish (cycling) plus Ironman Legends like Jurgen Zack and Chrissie Wellington (Ironman Kona Champion), Javier Gomez (top three world ranking ITU triathlete)and Bradley Wiggins (Tour de France, cycling champion).

What does being an IronKid mean to you?

Ironkid means the beginning of my dream to be able to make it to the most prestigious race – the Ironmen/Ironwomen race in Kona, Hawaii and the Olympics!

Next week, the Phuket Gazette will feature another competitor taking part in this year’s IronKids, to be held at Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club on December 1.

— Andrew Scott

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Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities

Caitlin Ashworth



Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chachoengsao join UNESCO’s learning cities | The Thaiger

3 cities in Thailand recently joined UNESCO’s membership of so called “learning cities” which are said to promote “lifelong learning” and sustainable development. Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai and Phuket joined the UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities. Altogether, 55 cities from 27 countries, adding up to 230 cities in 64 countries around the world, according to UNESCO.

“These cities are outstanding examples of how lifelong learning can become a reality at local level. They have proven that effective lifelong learning policies and practices can support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and contribute to the 2030 Agenda.”

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning David Atchoarena says the recent new members have shown that they can make “lifelong learning a reality,” even after enduring the pandemic.

“With unprecedented urgency, the Covid-19-19 pandemic has underlined the necessity to build more resilient education systems for the future. With more than half of humanity living in urban areas, cities must be at the centre of this undertaking.”

David says he hopes it will inspire other cities in Thailand to follow.

“I very much hope that we will see many other cities from Thailand joining the network and working on providing lifelong learning opportunities for all to ensure a sustainable and peaceful future.”

The mayor of Chachoengsao, Kolayuth Chaisang, says his goal is to provide “effective education, thoroughly and equally to all citizens.” According to the Bangkok Post, the city is a key urban centre both economically and culturally.

The mayor of Chiang Mai, Tussanai Buranupakorn, says he wants to revitalise the city, while also maintaining the cultural significance. The city has a number of educational institutes, which goes along with UNESCO’s learning city principles.

Phuket is a hub of sustainable creativity, according to the Bangkok Post. The mayor of Phuket, Somjai Suwansupana, says he wants to preserve the city’s “identity, local wisdom assets and the charm of our multiculturalism.”


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Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth



Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

A newborn baby was found on a bench at a neighborhood by Phuket’s Patong Road. The baby boy was wrapped in cloth and left inside a reusable shopping bag. The bag also had a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing.

A woman walking by early in the morning heard the baby crying. She followed the cries and found the baby on the bench. She called police and calmed the baby, feeding him milk that was left in the bag.

Police took the baby to the Patong Hospital. The baby, about a week old, is in good health, police say.

“Police and rescue workers together rushed to the scene and called Patong Hospital to have a medical team meet us there … This baby is healthy and does not appear to have suffered any injuries. He is now safe and being cared for at Patong Hospital.”

Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage to see if they can track down the mother, or whoever left the baby behind.

Newborn baby found on bench in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations

The Thaiger



Phuket Immigration handing out ‘conditional’ 14 day visas, pending investigations | The Thaiger

Confusion reigns. It was predictable and many people, despite months of warnings, have left their visa extensions to the last minute. Meanwhile Thai immigration don’t appear to be making the process easy as The Thaiger has received multiple comments from foreigners visiting the various immigration offices around the country and encountering ‘local’ applications of the published guidelines and, in some cases, demands for additional paperwork.

A note to The Thaiger, we won’t publish the person’s name, from Phuket where a person applying for an extension to their visa has been given something less than the 30 days promised by the government.

“On Monday Phuket Immigration was only giving 14 day ‘conditional’ VISA extensions from the date of application, not from September 26. They announced this was to allow time to “investigate and verify” the need for the extension.

So basically we paid 1900 baht for a 14 day extension. After announcing this many people left as many que numbers were called and nobody came up. They said if that were the case they would come back later in the week.

So we have to go back on October 5 (or a few days later is ok they announced) to see if we’re approved for the 30 day extension from September 26. If not we would be immediately “overstaying” at 500 baht/day.

Thank you

Another writer, speaking about the same matter, said that they were still being charged the non-refundable 1900 baht fee for the 2 week extension….

“They still collected the non refundable 1900 baht fee.”

Yesterday a person, who had been living in Bangkok under the auspices of the visa amnesty on a lapsed Non Immigrant B (Business) visa, ended up visiting three different offices to get his paperwork sorted out. This is after first contacting immigration by phone to confirm the particular office to attend. He had a letter from the US Embassy explaining that he would be unable to return to the US at this stage due to lack of flights and the current Covid-19 situation in the US. He made an appointment online, as instructed, and it still didn’t go very smoothly.

The instructions he received….

If your Visa was cancelled during the Covid-19 crisis, and you are currently under the amnesty grace period set to expire September 26, you will need to schedule an appointment online to queue in with the Immigration Division 1 at Muang Thong Thani (near Don Mueang Airport). You will need…
  • Online appointment with Immigration Division 1
  • Passport
  • TM 6 Departure Card
  • 1,900 Baht fee for short term extension
  • Letter from embassy specifically stating inability to leave Thailand due to lack of repatriation flights and or a high risk of contracting Covid-19 in one’s home nation.
  • US Embassy letter request can be made online here
  • Portrait photo to affix to short term extension application 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm in dimension

After going to Counter K and Counter J (2 separate buildings), he ended up being asked to go to the Chaeng Wattana office instead, and then was shuffled off to yet another office. Additional paperwork was also requested, beyond what had been asked for. After nearly a full day he ended up with a visa stamp for a 30 day extension in his visa.

He also noted that there is NO ATM around the Mueang Thong Thani immigration offices and our reader had to take a 60 baht motorcycle taxi ride to get cash.

Probably worse, he said that the Immigration officials (clearly overworked at this time), were “extremely rude” and that the facilities (apparently temporary) are “less-than-adequate”, especially the Counter K, which was basically a parking garage with seats… no fans.

Additionally, contrary to the clear advice on the Thai Immigration website, most people getting their extensions were from the date of their visit and NOT the end of the September 26 amnesty.

Phuket Immigration handing out 'conditional' 14 day visas, pending investigations | News by The Thaiger

The moral of this tiny microcosm of stories is that it’s probably the busiest week for Thai immigration in history. The officials will be stressed and stretched, there will be long queues and there will be confusion. We should also mention that we’ve had a few foreigners contact us saying that things went very smoothly for their extensions, so well done to all concerned in those examples!

Be prepared, take ALL your paperwork, expect to asked to produce more evidence, make sure you have all your photos and copies of your passport, TM 6 departure card, plus filled-in applications before you head to the Immigration offices.

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