Thai Life

Suffering for the sake of education

PHUKET: Just by reading this you are doing something 611,000 children in Thailand cannot do, which is to read at the most basic level.

The Asia Center Foundation is a well-established organization doing great work here in Phuket. They provide basic education as well as safe houses for the poorest of the poor – helping not only Thai but Burmese children as well. They received a generous donation of 12 rai of land in Kathu to build a permanent pre- and primary school (including a youth center); however they have not been able to raise enough funds to even get the first phase of the project off the ground.

This is where we come in. They are currently 3 million baht short of what’s needed to get the first school building, capable of educating up to 80 pre-school children, built and operational. My job is simple. I just need to do a half Ironman every day for 39 days.

Your job is to reach deep and help me spread the word. A half Ironman is a short 1.9 kilometer swim, 90km bike ride, and 21km half-marathon run. I won’t pretend this isn’t a shameless way to generate publicity for my various businesses, but I intend to form a long-lasting partnership with the foundation and continue to support it with my new learning center – not only by raising the funds to build them a school, but with ongoing support on the instructional side as well. Hopefully the fact I am willing to suffer a bit will allow you to overlook my selfishness.

I also want to show my own children, those who come to study with us, and my other team members in my supplement business that I run, that they should walk the walk, dream bigger, step outside their comfort zones, and aim to achieve their goals, even if they seem big and scary.

I want them to not only listen to my words, but watch what I do. I will continue to teach my children a few hours every morning during the challenge before heading out each day around lunch time.

This challenge came about as a result of others doing much bigger endurance challenges – I have simply been inspired and am walking in the shadows of others. I have a tremendous support base for this, from my Unicity family supporting my nutrition, to all of the children at the Asia Center Foundation and my own learning center supporting my spirit, which will be crucial in helping get me through the 39 grueling days.

I will start from my house on my 39th birthday, which is on July 25, and cycle over to Anthem Wake Park where I will do the 1.9km swim.

After that, I will do three 30km loops on quiet, back roads between Cherngtalay and Baan Pruchampa, before transitioning to the run from my house. The run will go out and back twice along the Bang Naew Reservoir, a beautiful hidden paradise near the Heroine’s Monument.

Anyone is welcome to come and tag along during the 39 days, but I have planned this to be unsupported. All I ask of others is to give generously to the Asia Center Foundation.

Any emotional support that pops up will simply be an added bonus.

Find me by searching on Facebook for ‘half iron x39’. I am the only dummy that will turn up in the search results. Follow me as I drag myself around my personal half ironman course, and more importantly please share and encourage your friends to share further. Encourage them to ask their friends to share as well.

This is the key to getting the message to spread quickly. The more people we reach out to, the faster the foundation can get 80 new children into their program.

To learn more about the Asia Center Foundation, visit asiacenterfoundation.org. Donations can be made online at youcaring.com/halfironx39for asiacenter foundation.

— David Mayes

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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