Rugby International School in Chonburi (Pattaya, Thailand), after being the perfect venue for the recently concluded 3rd Asian Universities Women Softball Asia Cup 2022, where Japan emerged champions defeating Chinese Taipei, could well be the choice of Softball Asia to host more events there.
Softball Asia president, Datuk Low Beng Choo, was impressed with the venue and facilities, where she was for the tournament throughout the duration (Dec 12-17).
Equally impressed by the organisation by Softball Association of Thailand (SBAT) headed by president, Art Phainpaniporn and his local organising committee, for an excellent job in putting the tournament together, Beng Choo, who is also the secretary-general of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), said she was considering the venue and host SBAT, for future Softball Asia tournaments.
“The feedback I got form participating teams with their raving comments and my personal observation with the facilities at Rugby International School, certainly puts them as one of the top choices for venues in Thailand,” said Beng Choo.
If there was a setback, it was a minor issue where the diamond was 20 metres short (supposed to be 220 metres), but Softball Asia approved the venue, as it was an Asian Universities women’s competition.
“The venue actually can place a 220 diamond, but we placed two diamonds on one of the three levels of fields, as wanted to use the upper and lower tier fields for practice.
“This venue will suit fine for age-group and Baseball5 competitions or if we want to have one full sized ‘diamond’, ” explained Beng Choo.
“Besides being a great venue, it’s facilities like the restaurant which serves excellent food and dormitory facilities makes it a perfect complete venue.”
Beng Choo met up with Rugby International School founder and president, Nataphol Teesuwan, who is the former Education Minister of Thailand, during the tournament.
“We had a good discussion with view of using the venue for future Softball Asia events and things look positive.”
The 56-year old Teepsuwan, served as Minister of Education in the second cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha from 10 July 2019 until he was removed from office in February 2021, after he was found guilty of insurrection during protests that led to the 2014 coup d’etat. He was released from prison on bail, later in February 2021, and is still fighting his case.
Nataphol was born in Boston, Massachusetts, married to Taya Teepsuwan, who has three children, graduated high school from The Williston Northampton in the USA and then Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, at Boston University and Master’s Degree in Marketing at Thammasat University.
“It has been my passion to set up a unique academic school with boarding and excellent studying and sporting facilities,” disclosed Teepsuwan.
“Thus, we decided to build this unique school on our family property which took six years and was operational just before Covid-19 two years ago.
“But we used up only a portion of the property (80 acres) and we have plans to further expand. Actually, it is work in progress, as we continue to look at ways to improve.”
Teepsuwan said it was an excellent opportunity to offer their venue for an international event like the 3rd Asian Universities Women Softball Asia Cup 2022.
- “And I am very happy that we met the standards required by Softball Asia and that they were happy with our facilities we had to offer,” said a delighted Teepsuwan.
“We look forward to offer our venue for other Softball Asia events and event a World Event, if possible.”
In the meantime, Teepsuwan said he is also open to offer his venue and facilities to other international sports events.
Teepsuwan said that many mistaken his school as a rugby school primarily.
“It is the unique academic and management facilities that we have adopted from the Rugby School in Britain on their expansive mindset and traditional values of a 450-year-old British private school model.
“We are a unique British international school with our motto as : ‘The Whole Person, The Whole Point’ which means that while academic excellence lies at the heart of the Rugby School experience, sport, music, art, drama and co-curricular activities are in no way peripheral.
“Rugby School develops academically apt, kind and well-rounded children. Exemplifying our ‘The Whole Person, The Whole Point’ ethos, our education goes well beyond the classroom. We also nurture the mind, body and spirit of our students, helping them grow holistically and succeed in all areas of life.
Teepsuwan said it is their aim to to improve the outcome of every individual in the school and to be a world-class leader one day and boarding education.