11 July 2024

The Army’s Lumpini boxing stadium, in the Ramintra area of Bangkok, which was closed in March last year after being identified as the source of a cluster of COVID-19 infections, is scheduled to host its first bout in almost 12 months this Saturday, but only for online and TV audiences.

Lt-Gen Santipong Thampiya, deputy army chief of staff, told Thai PBS that the new look stadium and other commercial armyrecreational facilities have undergone major facelifts and management reorganizations, to ensure the utmost benefit for army personnel and their families.

The 65 year old Lumpini stadium is one of the army’s welfare projects, said the general, adding that it has served as a training ground for Thai boxing and a major venue for both domestic and international boxing matches.

He said that the stadium board has approved an upgrade to make venue the centre of army sports promotion.

Under the reorganization plan, the stadium will also include a Thai boxing school and a school for the training of boxing coaches and referees, with those passing the courses receivingformal certification.

For the boxing matches, resuming this Saturday, Lt-Gen Santipong said that the format has been adjusted to comply with measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

There will be no sale of tickets to the public and only authorized people will be allowed into the stadium. The matches, to be held every Tuesday and Friday and Saturday, will be broadcast live via the internet and on terrestrial TV.

Under the guidance of the Army Commander-in-chief, General Narongphan Chitkaewtae, other military recreational facilities have also been reorganized, including 33 golf courses, which are only for use by army personnel and their families, except for Suanson Padipat in Hua Hin, Lanna in Chiang Mai and Ramintra, which are for commercial use. The horse racing course in Nakhon Ratchasima is being studied for possible conversion into a public park or tourism destination, and two rest areas in Chiang Rai and Hua Hin have been transformed into hotels.