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Phuket is no longer just a mecca for tourists — it's also an ideal training base for elite athletes.
Featuring leading-edge training facilities, the Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club has been attracting worldwide attention to the southwestern island of Thailand, which used to be famous only for its beaches and nightlife.
The club, which is located on a 23-hectare (345 mu) plot framed by mountains and forests at the heart of Phuket, offers athletic facilities for a wide range of sports, including soccer, aquatics, tennis, rugby and triathlons at various levels for all ages.
It has become a popular pre-competition training base for individual athletes and teams before major events in the Asia-Pacific region.
Boasting an Olympic-standard 50-meter pool, the club's aquatics center hosted the Canadian synchronized swimming team before the Shanghai World Championships last year and will welcome Chinese swimmers for a winter camp next month.
"Anyone, who wants to be inspired and motivated by our world-class facilities and expert trainers will be welcomed and well served here," said Virapol Cholvibul, director of marketing sports events at the club.
The complex's tennis center, which features four roof-covered hard courts and two outdoor practice courts, hopes to cater to some of the game's elite before the Australian Open.
"I think our site would be the perfect training ground for pro tennis players to train before the Australian Open," said Travis Bertram, a US tennis coach at the club.
"We have the same court surface, and the ability to allow clients to play indoors or outdoors would save a lot of stress in inclement weather."
High-quality accommodation at the nearby Thanyapura Sports Hotel, which opened last month, is another selling point for the area.
The 77-room retreat, which was built within walking distance of the club, provides sports-themed decorations and a 25-meter pool.
Meanwhile, the club's DiVine Restaurant meets athletes' dietary demands with food that comes from an organic farm adjacent to the Khao Sok National Park.
"There's no doubt that a professional athlete could thrive at Thanyapura. Its many facets, such as the organic food served in DiVine, as well as the sports medicine clinic and mental training provide any athlete with a huge advantage all in one location," said Bertram.
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