The agreement will send deserving Asian athletes to train at Asia’s leading sports destination to help them qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
PHUKET, THAILAND — FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) has announced its world-wide scholarship program “Targeting Rio 2016” to assist national federations in order to help identify, qualify, and prepare athletes for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.
As part of their efforts to develop aquatics in Southeast Asia, the world governing body for the sport offers financial and technical assistance for potential elite athletes selected and proposed by their respective national federations to train at Thanyapura Phuket, the official training center for the region.
There are 19 FINA-member national federations in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, China Taipei, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, India, Maldives, and Macau. Each national federation can nominate a maximum of two athletes (both genders represented).
Selection for scholarship is focused on athletes and national federations with the greatest need, especially for those with difficulty accessing high-performance structures and environments.
“This is the first time we launch a project like this,” says FINA President Dr. Julio Cesar Maglione. “We certainly believe that this project brings a fantastic opportunity for all the National Federations and its relevant national Olympic committees to bring their athletes to a great environment in order to improve their preparation and participation in Rio 2016.”
Scholars will be provided room, full board, and full access to the training facilities at Thanyapura. Resident FINA-approved specialist swimming coaches will oversee their training and competition schedule for one year beginning May 2015 to May 2016.
“We are delighted to have been appointed by FINA for such a worthy endeavour,” said Mr. Philipp Graf von Hardenberg, Thanyapura President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are honoured to be entrusted with this important task, and we look forward to playing an instrumental role as 38 swimmers head towards the realisation of their Olympic dream, while at the same time we will boost advanced swimming in our region.”
Thanyapura’s aquatics academy is overseen by head coach Miguel Lopez Alvarado, who has brought his 20 years of experience coaching at the elite level to both the master’s and youth development programs.
Thanyapura Phuket is a sports training, education and health destination set on 23 hectares of pristine land located close to Phuket International Airport as well as the resort island’s famed beaches. It utilises a patented mind, body and soul-coaching philosophy to get the best out of people through its team of educators, world-class coaches, sports scientists, and medical and health practitioners. The facility includes an aquatics complex with a 50-meter Olympic standard pool with video analysis window and a 25-meter lap and teaching pool, an athletics complex, gym facilities, and a sports hotel purpose-built with athletes in mind. Its food and beverage offerings are made with fresh organic ingredients and designed to be healthy and nutritious to sustain athletes through long training days.