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Sports for Peace in the Southern Border Provinces

10 April 2015

The Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) Region 4 Forward and the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center will jointly organize a sports competition for peace in the southern border provinces.
The sports competition, titled "Peace Cup, will be held from 18 April to 31 August 2015. Joining the Peace Cup will be athletes from the three southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla (Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi).
The Commanding General of the Fourth Army Area Command, Lieutenant General Prakarn Cholayut, said that the organizing of the sports competition is an effort to use sports to bring lasting peace in the deep South. He said that during his visits to various villages, he noticed that local children and youth like to play sports very much.
Officials, therefore, came up with the idea of encouraging young people to play sports for exercise and as a way of spending time fruitfully. It is also believed that sports will help prevent them from being misled by harmful influences, such as drugs, vices, and taking part in violence. Moreover, sports will help promote unity and a sense of sportsmanship, in addition to good health.
There are two sports events in the Peace Cup: football for males and volleyball for females at the subdistrict level. Participants in this sports competition consist of youths aged not over 20 years. There are altogether 290 teams. Out of this number, 115 will come from Pattani, 58 from Yala, 77 from Narathiwat, and 40 from Songkhla.
The Ministry of Education recently approved the opening of a science program in sports for secondary schoolchildren living in the southern border provinces. The program is scheduled to begin in the 2015 academic year at Srinagarindra the Princess Mother School, Yala.
In the first year of the program, a total of 80 students will be admitted for the Matthayom 4 level of upper secondary schooling. These students will take part in academic studies, as do students in other secondary schools, but additional courses in sports will be added to the curriculum. Scholarships will be granted for these students, who should have both sporting talent and good academic records.
In the initial stage, there will be five types of sports for them: football, volleyball, pencak silat, muay thai (Thai boxing), and takraw. Out of the 80 students, 26 males will be selected for football, 18 females for volleyball, 6 males and 6 females for pencak silat, 8 males for muay thai, and 8 males and 8 females for takraw. The Ministry of Education, in cooperation with other relevant agencies, is also holding a summer sports competition from 28 March to 2 May 2015 to promote sports development among young people in the southern border provinces. The event features four types of sports: football, futsal, volleyball, and takraw.
Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
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