Twenty promising young athletes from eight sports representing eight nations and three continents completed an inspiring five-day sports development journey at Pho3nix Future Camp in Phuket, Thailand from 15th to 19th November 2023.
Held by the sport nonprofit Pho3nix Foundation, Pho3nix Future Camp Phuket brought together talented youth athletes aged 14 to 19 for a fully funded experience equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and personal development needed to flourish in a professional sports career and beyond.
For its eighth edition in the past three years, Commonwealth Games gold and Olympic silver medallist John Steffensen and 15-time iron distance triathlon champion Belinda Granger hosted the camp along with supporting mentors and speakers including Commonwealth Games swimmer and Australian music star Cody Simpson, four-time Triathlon World Champion and Mana Global CEO Chris McCormack, Mana Global Chairman Wojtek Kruczynski, and television host and Mana Global Head of Content Will McCloy.
Camp highlights also included sessions on media training, nutrition for high performance, physical conditioning for injury prevention, a VIP yacht trip to Phang Nga Bay, and finally an opportunity to give back to sport and community by volunteering to man aid stations and the finish line at the Pho3nix Kids Triathlon event at Blue Tree Phuket.
Participants from the sports of fencing, basketball, running, track and field, rugby, triathlon, swimming, and BMX, representing India, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Turkiye, Tanzania, the United States of America, and Australia relished the valuable insight into what it takes to be a professional athlete and achieve success in their chosen field, finding greater energy and inspiration to pursue their goals in sport and life.
Tanzanian swimmer Isabel Angemi still plans to pursue collegiate swimming, but now also has bigger dreams to represent her country.
Filipino fencer Xavier Reyes said, “In the near future I’ll be fencing at the Junior World Cup; I’d like to go all the way but it’s my first one so we’ll see what I can do. In the far future I’d love to go to the Olympics. My aim is now LA 2028.”
Pho3nix Foundation founder and business leader Sebastian Kulczyk also graced camp activities for the first time since the inaugural Pho3nix Future Camp in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2021, witnessing the global growth and reach of the Foundation’s work and then speaking encouragement and purpose to these aspiring athletes.
Kulczyk said to them, “There is a lot of pressure on your shoulders because you’ve been gifted great talents, each of you in your own sports. But once you’re given something, you have to give back – by proving to the world, to your friends, family and everyone who believes in you that you’re worth it. You can do it by setting a good example, that once you commit to something you stick to it. You can also give back by helping others; you’ve got your talent, time, energy, youth, so you can use it by helping other kids that you train with.”
The Laguna Phuket Triathlon on the Sunday also featured a strong Pho3nix Future alumni contingent: Phuket alumnus Seymur Caglayan placed 9th in the long category, while in the sprint distance Chiara Egger took 3rd among the women and Ramil Photharin ranked 7th behind London alumnus Tyler Smuda who topped the men’s open race.
Pho3nix Future Camp is part of the Pho3nix Future Program, which identifies and assists promising juniors to help them with both athletic and life skills as they pursue a career in professional sport. For more information, visit https://pho3nixfoundation.com/our-activities/pho3nix-future/