Tough training camp leads to unexpected friendships

The National Danish Performance Team has been on a two-week training camp at a boarding school for particularly talented athletes in Thailand. The stay offered tough training and development of their show QUA. It was also a period filled with cultural exchange and new local friendships.

After a 10-hour bumpy ride on winding roads through a lush landscape with curious monkeys by the roadside, the gymnasts arrived at the school, which for the next two weeks was to be their home for a training camp in Thailand. Here they were to train and develop their show QUA prior to the upcoming tour of Denmark.

The gymnasts had emptied a supermarket for snacks before arriving at the school, which was located far out in the countryside in the Sakon Nakhon province in northern Thailand. The school was home to 189 talented athletes aged 13-18, who were taught both academic subjects and their individual sports. The gymnasts were accommodated in the dorms belonging to some of the students and were allowed to use their training facilities when the students were not training themselves.

The last time the gymnasts were at a training camp, they lived at the BGI Academy near Horsens. Here they were served food 6 times a day, they had free access to the training center with modern tumbling equipment, and in the evening, they could watch the sunset from the top of the academy in the school’s hot tub. Now they had to sleep on hard mattresses on the floor in a hot room made “cooler” by ventilation fans side by side with cockroaches and tiny ants. When they went to the toilet, it took place in a squat position over a hole. The training took place in the open air under a large roof - mostly with a curious audience consisting of the school's students and stray dogs.

Most of the days at the training camp went with the development of the show from morning to evening. Except in the afternoon where the gymnasts held workshops for the school's students. The students did not know English, so all communication took place through body language, movements, and play. The gymnasts also had the opportunity to try out Thailand's most popular sport, Muay Thai. Muay Thai is a martial art that also includes elements of dance. In this way, relationships, and a greater understanding of each other emerged between the school's students and the gymnasts on the National Danish Performance Team.

A typical day at training camp:

Kl. 8.00: Breakfast

Kl. 8.45: Morning stretch

Kl. 9.15-12.00: Gymnastics

Kl. 13.00-14.00: Siesta

Kl. 14.00-16.00: Gymnastics

Kl. 16.30-18.00: Workshop for the school's students / development of show

Kl. 18.00: Dinner

Kl. 19.00: Physical training / gymnastics

Kl. 21.00: Free time

Heavy weight training in a raw environment
In a dark hall lit by a couple of work lamps and with a boxing ring in the middle, the National Danish Performance Team had great opportunities for weight training. Therefore, every second day the program offered physical exercise. Throughout the world tour, the gymnasts have focused on heavy strength and weight training. Strength and weight training prevents injuries and makes the gymnasts even better gymnasts. In some places the gymnasts have had access to a gym with lots of opportunities for heavy strength training, in other places they have only had a parking lot where the strength training takes place with elastics or a friend on their backs.

Combined gymnastics and Muay Thai show
To show their gratitude to Rom Sai Wittaya School and Sakon Nakhon Province for the hospitality, the National Danish Performance Team organized a show at the school for staff, students and everyone living near the school. Both before the show and during the break, the students performed Muay Thai. It was a wonderful experience for the gymnasts to end their visit with a mix of all the good things from two weeks of training camp. After the two weeks in training camp, the trip went by bus back to Bangkok, where the gymnasts had to train, perform, and do workshops.

The stay at the school gave the gymnasts incredibly sore bodies, a feeling of having a home and a solid base for a while, and a lot of new friendships.

In April and May, the National Danish Performance Team travels around Denmark with their show QUA. See the tour schedule here