The Thailand Victory Project®— a recipe for success
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In Thailand, a fitness revolution is sweeping the nation as more and more people embrace healthier lifestyles. The country’s passion for sports has grown exponentially, with sports like soccer and badminton taking center stage. In fact, Thailand proudly clinched two medals in badminton at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, showcasing the nation’s remarkable sporting potential. While exercise undoubtedly plays a significant role in a healthier life, there’s another crucial ingredient often overlooked – nutrition.
Beyond the gym
Balanced nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle and is essential for athletic performance, yet it often takes a backseat in Thailand. Thai professional athletes, despite their rigorous training regimes, can tend to disregard the importance of a well-balanced diet. This lack of dietary focus often extends beyond individuals to sports associations in Thailand, and some athletes experience cumulative fatigue that can lead to injuries.
Enter Jidapa Srichavana, a nutrition expert from Ajinomoto Thailand’s Public Relations Department. Armed with knowledge in nutrition and dietetics, she recognized the need for a change and took the helm of the Thailand Victory Project® in 2019. This initiative, founded on the principles of “AminoScience*,” aims to provide athletes with tailored nutrition plans, aptly named “Winning Meals,” or Kachimeshi®, designed to maximize their strength and performance.
A game changer
The Thailand Victory Project® takes its roots from Japan, where it was initiated in 2003. Athletes in Thailand now benefit from the Ajinomoto Group’s amino acid conditioning products and personalized conditioning consultations that provide valuable insights into nutrition and training targets.
May 3, 2023 marked a significant milestone for elite Thai badminton players as Ajinomoto Thailand signed a sponsorship agreement to support the Badminton Association of Thailand. The goal was to help enhance physical endurance and provide the energy needed for peak sports performance. Patama Leesawattrakoon, President of the Badminton Association of Thailand, praised Ajinomoto Thailand’s role in helping aspiring Olympians control their body mass index and apply sound nutrition to make their bodies even stronger.
Among the five athletes on Thailand’s badminton team, Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai have personally experienced the benefits of the Thailand Victory Project®. They expressed their gratitude for the way Srichavana and her colleagues have made themselves available, including with spot advice on how to replace recommended foods that might not be available at the site of a competition. They emphasized how it has transformed their approach to nutrition, helping them build strength, recover from intense training, and prevent injuries.
Helping build better nutrition
While Srichavana may lack professional sports experience, her expertise in nutrition more than compensates. As the project’s supervisor, she collaborates closely with athletes’ coaches and training staff, tailoring nutrition plans to their unique needs. Partners have also joined forces to offer enhanced consultations and improve the quality of “Winning Meals”, Kachimeshi®. For example, a cooperating hotel prepares meals based on the ideal protein, carbohydrate and fat content recommended by Srichavana, and a fitness studio has helped with body measurement analysis.
In August 2023, Srichavana invited her Ajinomoto Thailand colleagues to cook alongside athletes, giving them firsthand experience in preparing well-balanced meals. This initiative reflects Ajinomoto Thailand’s commitment to expanding the Thailand Victory Project® and supporting more Thai athletes on their journey to success.
Building for the future
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has long been a sponsor of the Southeast Asian Games(SEA Games), including both the 32nd Games and the 12th Asian Para Games, held in Cambodia from May to June 2023, where Thailand’s athletes secured several gold medals. Jongkolphan and Rawinda, fueled by the Thailand Victory Project®, are determined to further improve their performance and aim for medals in world badminton championships held in 2023.
In Thailand, the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle isn’t just about physical fitness—it’s about a holistic approach that includes the right nutrition. Thanks to the dedication of individuals like Jidapa Srichavana and the support of organizations like Ajinomoto Thailand, Thai athletes are now equipped with the nutritional tools they need to excel on the global stage. As they continue to strive for victory, it’s clear that proper nutrition is the secret ingredient in their recipe for success.