The NIST Falcon Swim team, represented by five students, performed exceptionally well in the Thailand National Age Group Swimming Championship, held at Thammasat University during 5th-8th April 2013. NIST students represented some of the 40 swimmers from across Thailand competing in this national event.

The competition started off in January 2013 with students competing across Thailand to qualify as one of the 40 fastest swimmers in the country, in each stroke, age group and event. During the Championship weekend in early April, each morning saw the semi-final round, where swimmers were cut from 40 to the eight fastest swimmers for each heat. These top eight swimmers in the country then competed in the final round. Two extremely talented NIST Falcon Swim Team students; Nathan Stern and Aim Ruthairatch made it to the finals. Nathan went on to win three gold medals and one bronze, beating the Hong Kong and Burmese National Teams and Aim came in 7th for Backstroke.

1) Nathan Stern - Three Gold Medals for: Freestyle 50m, Butterfly 50m, Butterfly 100m and 1 Bronze for Freestyle 100m.

2) Ruthairatch Poonsornsiri (Aim) - 7th place for Backstroke 50m, 15th place for Backstroke 100m, and 18th place for Freestyle 50m.

3) Tharit Lee - 14th for Freestyle 50m, 17th place for Butterfly 50m, and 18th place for Freestyle 100m.

4) Prue Sintavanarong - 21st place for Breaststroke 100m and 23rd place for Breaststroke 50m.

5) Thavinee Leegomonchai (Masako) - 22nd place for Breaststroke 50m.

Mr. Niwat Wongphaisal, NIST Swim Performance Director who was behind the NIST students’ success at the Swimming Championship said, “We were so happy with all the swimmers, and the hard work they put in to their swimming. Nathan was particularly successful at this event as he won three gold medals and one bronze. A team of highly strategic-minded and competent coaches together with Nathan’s diligence and passion in swimming contributed highly to his success today. After this, he is going to Brunei in early June to join the South East Asia Age Group Swimming Championships as a representative of Thailand. We are planning some different techniques for him and we are quite confident that he will make it into the final round.”

Mr. Paul Hodgkinson, NIST Athletics and Activities Director said that: “The School is really proud of this achievement by all of our students. With 140 swimmers in the programme, it is a credit to the students, our team of coaches and to their supportive parents to qualify for the Thai National Swimming Championships. They have all done very well”. When asked to comment on Nathan’s performance, Paul said, “For Nathan, I think his success is due to a collaborative effort put in by the student himself, his parents and NIST’s coaches. Nathan is a very passionate and hard-working swimmer. He has tirelessly put in hours of practice during the past four years and we can see his development every year. His parents are also very supportive of him. NIST’s coaches in discussion with his parents planned for Nathan to take a ‘step by step’ approach to his swimming, so it has been a steady age-appropriate development programme, the way it should be with a swimmer at this age.”

Mr Ilan Stern, Nathan’s father said, “NIST has really been supportive of Nathan and contributed to his sporting excellence. The School has been very receptive to long training hours for our swimmers as well as anything else that would help with their and Nathan’s development. We are thankful for NIST’s support to Nathan in swimming and wish that he goes on to represent NIST as well as Thailand in a bigger and more global arena.”

Nathan’s comments on his success are that he could not have done it alone. His success was largely due to the support of his parents, coaches and his close friend. He always lives by his parents’ mottos: If there is a will, there is a way. If you have the will to win, you will win because the ones to win are the ones who are willing to do. Talent by itself is not enough.

Another NIST student who represented her team Pattapan Tangsawatdumrong (B) also gave her best performance and made the finals for 50m Butterfly (7th place) and 50m Backstroke (8th place).

NIST congratulates the outstanding results achieved by its Falcon Swimmers and wishes Nathan great success at the South East Asia Age Group Swimming Championships.



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