The competition sees four sports being played at Central Phuket Floresta including 3x3 street basketball, surf skating, go and bridge. The events will be held under “New Normal” conditions without any spectators. Fans can watch the action live via the SAT - Thailand World Invitation Facebook page.
The SAT is partnering with various sports associations to deliver the event, including the Surfing Association of Thailand, the Basketball Association of Thailand, the Bridge Sports Association of Thailand and the Goggle Sports Association of Thailand. The event aims to promote sports tourism while stimulating the local economy following the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be more than 150 athletes and officials participating in the competition over the next few days with prize money of B350,000 across the four sports up for grabs.
Announcing the event at yesterday’s press conference at Tropical Garden on the third level of Central Floresta Shopping Center were Mrs Proud Samanmit, Deputy Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) Department of Strategy and Information Technology, together with Mr Thammawat Wongcharoenyos, President of the Phuket Sports Association and Mr Damrong Chaisena, Director of the SAT office in Phuket Province.
Mrs Proud commented that the event is in line with the policy of the national Ministry of Tourism and Sports which is committed to raising the standards of Thai sports and promoting sports tourism to create and drive economic value. She added that Phuket is regarded as a principle destination for athletes and tourists and is a province with the necessary infrastructure in place to support various sports activities.
“Organising the SAT Phuket Invitation 2021 is an important event,” she said. “It will see athletes, trainers, parents, and followers travel to Phuket which will help boost the economy. Local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, travel organisers, sports activities, sports equipment and recreation providers will benefit as will those in the retail shopping and tourism sector."
Mr Thammawat added that the event is considered key to supporting sports tourism and helping the sector recover after the effects of COVID-19 during the last year or so. He added that Phuket extends a warm welcome to all those participating and officiating and sent best wishes to all involved.
Mr Damrong pointed to the recent positive impact that Thai athletes who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games had when they returned to Phuket as tourists under the Sandbox project which contributed positively to generating income for the local economy.
He added sports tourism can serve as a means of buiding confidence in other sectors such as the service sector, manufacturing, and competition management and can help establish Phuket as a true sports venue in line with international standards.
Last year the SAT organised a similar themed event which saw e-sports and stand up paddle boarding take place and which was very well received.