Banpu in Thailand & China Synergize to Support Young Thai Table Tennis Rising Stars with 6-Month Pro-level Training in China
The primary goal of Banpu Table Tennis Club (BTTC), founded and supported by Banpu Public Company Limited, is to promote and encourage Thai youths to be both ‘ethical’ and ‘skillful’ with exceptional sportsmanship. Ms. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited, said, “We believe that if we teach our athletes to have sportsmanship, discipline, learn how to adapt to new things, and immerse themselves to keep enhancing their skill, we will help them become a well-rounded person in the future. And whatever they do when they are grown up, they will keep returning good things back to their community, which will in turn drive social development towards sustainability.”
Recently, Banpu Table Tennis Club (BTTC) sponsored three young table tennis rising stars from the club – Miss Monsawan Saritapirak, Mr. Komgrit Sangpao and Mr. Suppakorn Watthanasirichaiporn – to travel to Zhengding International Table Tennis Training Center (ZITTTC), Hebei province, China to participate in an intensive training program for professional table tennis players, which began in November 2014 and will conclude in May 2015. This is the very first time BTTC has extended the fully-covered training program at Zhengding International Table Tennis Training Center from one month to six months a year.
“Our aim is to provide support for talented Thai youth to broaden their perspectives and unlock their potential by learning from the world’s most respected table tennis professionals. This also conforms to Banpu Spirit, especially our core values of ‘innovation’, which encourages devotion to consistent learning for sustainable improvement. The program also reflects the ‘synergy’ through collaborations between Banpu headquarters in Thailand and Banpu Investment (China),” Ms. Udomlux Olarn revealed.
At just 17 years of age, Mr. Suppakorn Watthanasirichaiporn is one of the BTTC members who attended the intense training in China. He previously attended a 1-month training and said that the two training courses offer very different opportunities to the athletes, saying that the 6-month training has given him the opportunity to get to meet more table tennis enthusiasts from around the world, such as from Congo, Nigeria, Sweden, and China. According to Mr. Suppakorn, they all share a common dream – to be a professional athlete.
“Now I can see more clearly my dream path to become a world-class table tennis player. I’m motivated and want to train harder both physically and mentally to withstand all the obstacles ahead. I have to adapt to the language and culture that I’m not familiar with to be able to communicate with my coach and foreign friends so that I can improve my training. I’m sure the valuable experience I have gained here will pave a solid foundation for my future in the table tennis arena, and lead me to my goal.” Mr. Suppakorn said.
Mr. Fan Zhiyu, Director of Zhengding International Table Tennis Training Center (ZITTTC), has driven this training facility to become one of the world-class table tennis training centers. When asked what he has observed of the Thai athletes, he said, “At the beginning of the program, it seemed their physical strength was slightly less advanced than athletes from other countries. But after a few weeks, they showed us they were extremely capable of keeping up. We have a very strict training schedule here and Thai athletes have a very good discipline and they are fast learners. A table tennis player’s key ability lies in their agility. This is their key to success and that’s why we emphasize this to Thai athletes.”
Under Director Fan’s supervision, ZITTTC has welcomed athletes from more than 50 countries all over the world through its international exchange program. In 2015, ZITTTC are planning to spend RMB 217 million (approximately THB 1,085 million) on facility developments to expand its capacity to welcome international athletes.
“Throughout these six months, the three BTTC talents have been living with foreign athletes in the same living quarters. They have learnt how to be responsible and disciplined along with living with a different language and culture. But the most important thing is they will learn the way of life for a professional athlete and grow to be a professional table tennis player. Banpu believes that Learning is a Power for Change and Development. We believe that our effort on table tennis youth will also lift up Thai table tennis standards and the youths in the future,” Ms. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited concluded.
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About Banpu Public Company Limited
Banpu Public Company Limited is a leading energy company in Asia. Its coal and related energy businesses span across six countries: Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Australia, China, and Mongolia.
About Banpu Table Tennis Club
Banpu Table Tennis Club was established in early 2008. It serves the dual purpose of promoting young Thai talent in table tennis, as well as creating a CSR linkage between Banpu’s headquarters in Bangkok and its Chinese subsidiary, Banpu Investment (China) Ltd (BIC), which has provided continuous support for the sport of table tennis in China. The move is aimed at using resources available in China for the benefit of Thai BTTC players through table tennis training and technique transfer.