Thanyapura’s Director of Sport Academies, Craig Johns, recently welcomed four times World Champion Triathlete Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack. Macca was on site at Thanyapura, Phuket to complete both training and filming for the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest event. Thanyapura has recently signed an agreement as a partner with Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest Race and also full rights to host the Thanyapura Junior Challenge Triathlon event on November 30, 2013.
Some of the top names in Australian swimming have convened at Thanyapura’s world class sports facilities, including London Olympic gold medallist Brittany Elmslie, Beijing Olympic gold medallist Bronte Barratt, Australia’s ‘first couple’ of backstroke, Meagan Nay and Mitch Larkin, Grant ‘Grunzo’ Irvine, who clocked the fastest 200m butterfly time in the world this year at Australia’s national world championship trials in Adelaide in April, and Ned McKendry, a member of the fifth-placed men’s 200m relay team in London.
The Australian National Women’s coach Micheal Bohl will be presiding over the specially targeted sessions gauged to wring the last ounce of performance from athletes during the crucial tapering period ahead of the world titles. The visiting swimmers are key members of a legendary national team nursing wounded pride following a sub-par performance by its own world-beating standards at the London Olympics last year.
Ms Elmslie, a 19-year-old from Nambour, Queensland, held a nation transfixed when she swam the key leg of the women’s 200m freestyle relay at the London Olympics to win Australia its only gold medal in the pool. Last week she blew away her competition in the women’s 200m freestyle at the TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, a milestone meet ahead of the World Championships, and also took the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle crowns comfortably. Ms Elmslie will contest the 50m and 100m butterfly and up to three relays at the World Championships.
Ms Nay is another swimmer who has captured press headlines and imaginations: her father, Robbie Nay, was a freestyle relay finalist at the 1972 Munich Olympics and tragically died in a car crash when Ms Nay was just four. Mr Irvine, meanwhile, missed a place on the 2012 Olympic team by just 0.27 of a second, and is out to atone for last year’s disappointment.
Bronte Barratt was part of the Australian gold medal-winning 200m freestyle relay team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. A year before that, Ms Barratt burst onto the scene by breaking one of the oldest records in swimming set in the women’s 400m freestyle by Tracey Wickham 30 years ago. Her career has also been set apart by her ongoing duel with childhood best friend and fellow Albany Creek, Queensland native Kylie Palmer.
The visiting swimmers all train with legendary Australian coach Michael Bohl in Brisbane, and will be taking part in a high performance tune-up clinic at Thanyapura until July 14th, 2013.
The Australian swimming team joins a who’s who of world swimming to grace Thanyapura’s Olympic pool in recent months. Stars from the Danish, Italian, Chinese and British national squads have sparkled at Thanyapura in the past six months, utilising Thanyapura’s three-dimensional coaching approach for the body, mind and soul to coax new levels of performance from world class athletes.
Besides Thanyapura’s Olympic-standard 50m and 25m pools with state of the art timekeeping and technical support, Thanyapura is hosting the Australian swimmers at Thanyapura Sports Hotel, Asia’s first dedicated hotel for athletes.
The 23ha campus also offers the best available resistance training equipment and one of Asia’s most advanced fitness centres, Thanyapura Integrative Health Centre (TIHC) and its sophisticated range of physiotherapy, diet and innovative health programmes, the mental edge conferred by Thanyapura Mind Centre (TMC) through mind training and visualisation sessions, and Thanyapura’s famed organic cuisine at DiVine.
Mr Bohl said: “This is about giving the swimmers a bit of a change of scene in a world class island resort, while conducting the sort of high performance tune up clinics that Thanyapura is becoming renowned for,” he said.
“It’s time to focus on the future – the immediate future being Barcelona of course, and beyond that the lead up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. “To achieve this, we wanted to train in a centre that supports the same ideals as us in terms of sporting excellence. Thanyapura is just that and the Aquatics Academy is without doubt the most comprehensive and well-equipped swimming training facility in the region,” he added.
Thanyapura President Mr Robert Hauck said he was delighted to add Australia to the list of prominent swimming nations to begin what he hoped would be ongoing partnerships with Thanyapura.
“Australia has been a standard bearer for swimming and will continue to be a great force in the sport. It’s a proud moment for Thanyapura to welcome them to Phuket, and I’m confident our facilities, support and three-dimensional approach will help Mr Bohl and his team in their quest for performance improvement.”
Thanyapura Aquatics Academy has become Asia’s first true ‘one stop shop’ for swimmers, with something to offer everyone no matter their age or performance level, according to Thanyapura President Robert Hauck.
With all major infrastructure completed, experienced and proven coaches secured in key positions, a thriving young swimmers’ programme – SilverFinz – now in place and growing with a new line of stunning swimsuits, Mr Hauck is confident in Thanyapura’s position as an institute of aquatics excellence.
He said innovative work at sport’s last frontier, the mind-body barrier, was also being undertaken via Thanyapura’s Mind Centre while the cutting-edge Integrative Health Centre provided the ability to tailor athletes’ diet and training regimes from the DNA level on upwards.
“Call it timing, synchronicity or gaining critical mass, but Thanyapura’s Aquatics Academy is now fully integrated with other key, complimentary facilities and functioning at the highest level,” Mr. Hauck said.
“We have swimming-specific strength training with leading strength and conditioning coaches in world class facilities. But beyond that, there’s a positive effect on a diverse range of people of all ages and abilities, from aqua-babies to overweight executives, Paralympic athletes, autistic children, underprivileged Thai children, rehabilitation from injury, Phuket International Academy Day School (PIADS) students, and even Olympic Legends,” Mr. Hauck said.
“Thanyapura offers truly interactive coaching,” he continued, “with Olympic coaches working with SilverFinz swimmers and PIADS students. The opportunity exists to perform and improve in the pool 365 days a year, whatever your age or ability.
“It is also gratifying to have finally assembled a coaching team of true professionals who look at the big picture and know swimming inside out and back to front,” Mr Hauck said.
The Aquatics Academy also offers swim training in a non-sporting context as Thanyapura is the only lifeguard, CPR and 1st Aid training facility in Phuket providing certification programs all year round. The lifeguard training programme also offers free swimming lessons to underprivileged children in the community every Saturday morning via the Coconut Club organization.
In addition to the world-class swim training facilities, Thanyapura Sports Hotel – the first in Asia – is now open and has quickly struck real chord with its first guests, including Olympians and world record holders from leading national teams coming and going on high performance tune-up clinics to families and couples enjoying an active holiday together.
The fantastic Thanyapura Aquatics Team includes team:
• Anna Jones, newly promoted from swim coach to Swim School Manager, and renowned for her work with aqua babies and children with learning disabilities.
• Randy Simon, head coach, renowned for his leadership, creativity and initiative, and his gentle, confidence-building approach.
• Chris Gaffney joins the team as Age Group Coach, and is preceded by a reputation as an exciting, dynamic and experienced coach.