June 29, 2011 - Much to my delight, I was invited to attend the press conference and official launch event of a new sports brand, Thwack, held at the Fairmont in Singapore. Thwack is supported and started up by One Sports, a part of India-based company, One Group.
Xiong Guobao is a former elite level badminton player from China who won numerous international singles titles in the late 1980s. With support from One Sports, Coach Guobao designed a unique badminton racket to help enable a player to improve his or her game.
After 20 years of his athletic career as a player and a coach, Guobao found that the most important factor in playing the game is the grip. Hence, he's crafted a patented design for the Thwack badminton rackets that comes with a unique embedded fingerprint to improve the technique of the player.
Regardless of a professional athlete or an amateur, the grip is the most important aspect of the game. To master different stokes, it is important to master the proper grip. The Thwack badminton racket is aimed to guide both new and experienced players the right way of handling the racket and consequently improving their techniques.
Besides badminton rackets, Thwack is also developing tennis and squash rackets which is due to be launched later in year.
Another unique product unveiled at the launch was the Thwack Humanoid. This product is another revolutionary exercise equipment designed on the principles of the Chinese martial art, Wushu.
Zig Zach was brought in to do a demo at the press conference. He is a professional Singaporean junior middleweight kickboxer better known for his Muay Thai fighting skills as a contestant on the international hit reality TV series, The Contender Asia.
The Humanoid is made of a combination of PU, natural rubber and steel with suction technology that maintains its stability.
It’s perfect for practicing on your own, compared to the punching bag - which swings around a lot unless you have a training partner to hold it in position for you. It also features human body parts which gives you a better target spot to aim at when you practice your kicks and punches.
A dinner boxing event, hosted by Allan Wu, was held later in the evening in the glitzy Padang ballroom at the Fairmont hotel.
The night kicked off with Muay Thai fighters performing a traditional ritual which precedes all contests an training. Then, there was the celebratory toast to officially launch Thwack.
Clyde Petres (a European kickboxer and personal trainer) came all the way from Netherlands to attend the Thwack event. He owns his own gym where he's tried and tested the Thwack Humanoid and practices kickboxing with it regularly. He had successfully battled cancer and is continuing his passion for kickboxing which makes his story truly commendable.
Clyde had a go with the Thwack Humanoid in his suit, a la James Bond! This just goes to show that the Thwack Humanoid is not just ideal for gyms but also in corporate offices. Don’t you ever feel like punching the wall to relieve stress at work sometimes?
I was pleasantly surprised to see DJ Eva T who I've found out spins at New Asia Bar every Wednesdays. She flies down from KL every Tuesday/Wednesday to spin. KL represent! With such an amazing view and great company, it was the perfect way to end the night.
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June 30, 2011 - The following day started early for me with my usual morning call with JJ & Ean on hitz.fm. Then, it was time for me to get my workout of the day.
A bus was arranged to bring guests and members of the media to Sengkang Sports & Recreation Center at Anchorvale Community Club for the badminton training clinic.
I learned a lot from the training clinic and found myself liking the sport even more!
Coach Guobao did a demo to show the correct technique of gripping the racket and positioning of the leg movement with each shot.
To complement the marquee products, Thwack also launched accessories like shuttle cocks, tennis balls, punch mitts and gloves, along with a range of stylized kit bags.
Thwack plans to continue conducting the badminton clinics across the globe in the next few months. In fact, badminton academies in India, Holland and Malaysia have invited Thwack to conduct the training clinics in August and September this year.
Thwack products will be available worldwide simultaneously through local distributors by the end of July and is definitely a brand worth looking out for.