AirAsia presents Ben Proud’s Talent Pool Swims across to “The Land below the Wind”

Two talented swimmers from Sabah chosen to train with Ben Proud in Phuket in September 2017

KOTA KINABALU, 5 JULY 2017

The-Land-below-the-Wind

AirAsia continues its efforts to develop young and upcoming swimmers by bringing the AirAsia Presents Ben Proud’s Talent Pool coaching clinic to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. 60 amateur swimmers ranging from 10 – 15 years old took part in the coaching clinic held at Stadium Likas, Kota Kinabalu last Saturday.

The young swimmers participated in an intensive one-day training experience with elite coaches, featuring former Olympian Antony James, and Malta National Swimmer Matthew Zammit.

The swim clinic is part of the annual coaching clinic programme in a partnership between AirAsia and British Olympic swimmer, Ben Proud. The swim clinic which took part in the eastern region for the very first time marks the third session of the clinic following the launch of the initiative which took place earlier in Putrajaya and Penang featuring swimmers from respective regions.

During the coaching clinic, Shairul Aiman Jefry, 13 years old from Persatuan Renang Daerah Penampang (PREPS); and Jemimah Tong YingYing Dove, 13 years old from Sandakan Swimming Association (SSA) were selected to join an exclusive training session with Ben Proud in Phuket later in the year.

Rudy Khaw, Regional Head of Branding for AirAsia said, “After successful sessions in Putrajaya and Penang, we are thrilled to go east for the first time to bring the third round to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It was amazing to see the talent and passion that these young swimmers possess and it was humbling to see major improvements within the day itself. We are happy to be able to give young hopefuls an opportunity to train with international elite coaches and we hope to inspire them to dream big and win their own Olympic medals one day. I would like to congratulate both winners on this once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Ben Proud himself in Phuket this September and hope they would make the most out of the experience.”

Antony James, Ben Proud’s Talent Pool Head Coach said, “We were very excited to bring the Talent Pool concept to Kota Kinabalu Sabah. We are passionate about nurturing and developing talent within the swimming community in this region and we feel honoured to be working with so many keen, enthusiastic children. As ever, it was hard to choose two winners from the clinics but those selected were chosen for their enthusiasm and willingness to learn as well as their ability. This lucky boy and girl will go on to meet Ben and have further development during the winners' clinic in Phuket this September. We hope we’ve inspired all of the children to be the best they can be going forward.”

Two sessions were conducted during the swim clinic, with each session consisting of a classroom session focusing on sports psychology and physiology as well as a pool session aimed at improving tactical aspects of competitive swimming.

The Talent Pool is part of AirAsia’s #DARETODREAM sports campaign that aims to grow the sports scene and nurture young talents from all levels across the Asean region. Set to be a four-year programme, the initiative will make its way to other cities in the region to meet young and aspiring Asean swimmers. Ben Proud makes up among the AirAsia athletes line-up under the #DARETODREAM campaign alongside national prides including track cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa as well as diver Leong Mun Yee. AirAsia is also working with promising bodybuilder athlete Faiz Ariffin and go-kart driver Muizzuddin Musyaffa, sponsorships of the AirAsia Malaysia Rugby League and AirAsia KL Junior League, with more plans for the campaign in the pipeline.

Follow AirAsia’s Dream journey through the hashtag #daretodream or the latest AirAsia news and activities on Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).