Giving kids a sporting chance
The women’s volleyball match this past weekend has been the cause of much happiness and pride for many Thai people. Last month we were so pleased with the victory of Nong May, the first Thai badminton player to win the women’s singles final at the world badminton championships. The success of Nong May inspired everybody and encouraged parents to support kids of theirs who want to play badminton. An increase in the number of people taking out memberships has been reported at many local badminton clubs.
Year after year, home-grown sporting personalities have inspired the children of this nation. A decade ago, tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan was a hero for many of his compatriots after he became the highestranked men’s singles player not just from Thailand but from the whole of Asia, reaching a career high as the No.9 in world tennis. Paradorn was also the first player to defeat Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam. Tamarine ‘‘Tammy’’ Tanasugarn has been in the top 20 in both singles and doubles tennis. She achieved the highest ranking ever for a female Thai player. Paradorn and Tammy were idolised by Thai children and the two were largely responsible for making tennis into one of the more popular sports in the country.
‘‘It enables children to discover the importance of exercise, of having fun and of fair play.’’