Anantara Hotels and Resorts celebrates it’s birthday this week – 13 years since the launch of the first Anantara Resort in Thailand’s Hua Hin and as many years hosting the Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament.
Since 2001, Anantara’s offerings have grown not only in beautiful property numbers and popularity, but also in its involvement with and support of the local community and philanthropic activity. The annual Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has become one of the biggest charitable events in SE Asia, having raised over US$750,000 which has been donated to a number of causes including those that better the lives of domestic and wild elephant populations throughout Thailand.
Last year’s polo event which had 16 teams and over 50 players, including Thai supermodels, professional horse polo players, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany’s was a far cry from the 2 team event of 2001. Funding is currently being used to introduce educational conservation programmes by Think Elephant International (TEI) to over 600 Thai students, as well as training and supporting BSc Conservation Biology graduates to become TEI classroom teachers.
Funds from the tournament have also helped set up the world’s first Thai Elephant Therapy Project (TETP) in conjunction with Chiang Mai University and the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. The program provides autistic children with an opportunity to develop their social interaction and emotional skills by using elephants as a working partner with occupational therapists. The programme runs a series of free therapy sessions for Thai children and this year the TETP also intends to expand the research aiming to widen the scope of the clinics to include children with Downs Syndrome and other conditions.
This year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is scheduled for 28th – 31st August. For more information about Anantara properties or the event please contact your Insignia Lifestyle Boutique personal assistant.