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A day in the life of a British International School, Phuket student-athlete

On the magnificent island of Phuket, Thailand, lies a co-educational day and boarding school dedicated to helping students achieve their full potential. At BISP the mission is to Inspire Learning, Nurture Wellbeing and Ignite Passion.

The British International School, Phuket (BISP) is home to expert teachers who deliver a broad and engaging curriculum that covers a diverse range of subjects and skills. From early years to primary and secondary school, their comprehensive learning philosophy develops the whole child, ensuring that students leave BISP with the competencies and confidence needed to succeed in top colleges and universities across Asia and the World.

But it doesn't end there — BISP also understands that a well-rounded education extends beyond academics. That's why BISP is committed to the provision of high-performance sporting development, recognising their importance for a healthy mind and body. Its elite BISP Cruzeiro Football Academy is modelled on the multi-championship winning Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in Brazil, and coached by experienced staff who excel in the four pillars of football –- technical, tactical, physical and psychological. 

Finlay Gray, a scholar, has a story that proves attending the Academy is a must for football-loving students looking to hone their skills in a winning environment.

The BISP welcome

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Gray's experience at BISP is nothing short of inspiring. When he first visited the school for a soccer tournament, he was instantly captivated by the state-of-the-art facilities and the sheer professionalism of the academy and school. The experience was so remarkable that he immediately shared it with his parents and convinced them to let him participate in a trial.

Gray's experience at BISP is nothing short of inspiring. When he first visited the school for a soccer tournament, he was instantly captivated by the state-of-the-art facilities and the sheer professionalism of the academy and school. The experience was so remarkable that he immediately shared it with his parents and convinced them to let him participate in a trial.

“I was really nervous and intimidated,” he recalls. “But all the older boys, house parents and my teachers were very friendly and made me feel really welcomed and comfortable.” Hence why he’s come as far as he has today.
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My long-term goal is to become a subject matter expert in supply chain, which is the backbone of the industry. I found BGSU's Logistics Systems Engineering program is a combination of engineering and management, which helps me to enhance my knowledge and skills. I joined BGSU in January 2022 and got the opportunity to work as a Graduate Assistant on an industrial project under the guidance of Dr. Sarder.

Swati Arora, India
MS in Logistics Systems Engineering

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Hear from the students

A day in the life of a BISP student-athlete


As a student-athlete, Gray’s days are jam packed. After all, BISP ensures all students are able to balance their time between academic excellence and extracurricular enrichment. To ensure he is mentally and physically prepared for both, Gray makes it a point to get an early start to the day.

“The first thing I do is make sure all my bags are packed, as I have gym, school and training,” he says.

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5:30 a.m. - Wake up!

Gray heads to the gym to start his day with an hour of training. “I would train for an hour, focusing on either my upper or lower body depending on what exercise I have been assigned to do.”

After training, he hits the showers to freshen up and locks away his belongings before heading to breakfast. The student never gets bored of his usual — eggs, some complex carbs and nutritious fruit.

By 7:45 a.m. a nourished Gray arrives at school for registration, ready to give his body a temporary break so his mind can do the lifting.

6:00 a.m. - Training

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Gray, being an IB student, relishes the autonomy to tailor his curriculum based on his interests. Psychology and business are two subjects that he finds most engrossing out of all his courses.

According to Gray, psychology piqued his interest due to his passion for sports and his curiosity about its mechanics, particularly in handling stress and anxiety. He believes that this knowledge could benefit him in his future football endeavours. Additionally, he finds learning about real-world challenges and solutions a fascinating aspect of business studies.

7:50 a.m. - Classes begiN

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For Gray, lunchtime at school is a highlight, and it's not hard to see why. The dining options at BISP are simply amazing. The school offers a delectable variety of international dishes.

But it's not just about the taste. The school is also dedicated to ensuring students receive a healthy and balanced meal. With a selection of meats, fish, carbs, vegetables, and fruits, Gray and his peers can enjoy a well-rounded lunch that certainly satisfies them before they take on their final hour of lessons for the day. There is always a wide variety of choices on offer, prepared by the chef and his team.

12:45 p.m. - Lunch

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When the school day is done, Gray's day is far from over. He loves nothing more than spending time with his friends before his second training session of the day. The camaraderie between Gray and his friends is undeniable, and their bond is a testament to the supportive community BISP has nurtured. BISP's commitment to compassion and respect has fostered a community where students feel accepted and valued, and where they can form deep and meaningful friendships.

2:35 p.m. - School ends

When it comes to training, Gray knows that variety is key. That's why he and his team mix things up to keep their bodies guessing and to maximise their performance potential.

Take Tuesdays, for example. That's when they focus on speed and explosive training, using various techniques and tools to push themselves to their limits. Whether through weights, resistance bands, or other training equipment, Gray and his teammates always look for new ways to challenge themselves and take their fitness to the next level — of course, under keen supervision. 

3:45 p.m. - Back to training

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After a long day of classes and gruelling training, Gray's hunger is once again at an all-time high. He can't wait to refuel his body with a delicious, hearty meal.

But dinner isn't just about filling his belly. It's also a chance for Gray to catch up with his friends and teammates, discussing everything from the day's training to the latest football match. They share stories, jokes, and plenty of laughter, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

By 6:45 p.m., it's time for him and his fellow boarders to head back to their respective boarding houses for roll call.

6:00 p.m. - Dinner time

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For Gray, even after a packed day of classes and training, he knows that there's still more work to be done.

With his eyes fixed on his academic goals, Gray uses this time to focus on any unfinished assignments or revision. He knows that every extra minute of studying can make a difference, and he's determined to get the most out of his time at BISP. 

“Our house parents always advise us to stay focused and power through any work that needs to be done,” he says.

7:15 p.m. - Homework

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After wrapping up his academic responsibilities, Gray loves unwinding with his friends. It's a chance to relax, have fun, and strengthen the bonds of friendship that are so important to him.

“We usually play ping pong, pool or recap our day while enjoying our free time,” he explains.

As a student-athlete at BISP, Gray understands that his body is his most important tool. Whether he's running drills on the soccer field or studying for a difficult exam, he needs to be well-rested and alert if he wants to perform at his best. That's why the newly-selected senior captain always makes sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. 

8:30 P.m. - 10:00 P.M - DOWNTIME

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The BISP support system

Gray's success story wouldn't be complete without mentioning the supportive community he found at BISP. The school's commitment to fostering a balanced lifestyle is what helped him excel in both his studies and sports.

“The school has made it very easy to balance the two, especially being in boarding,” he says. “They have set a schedule to ensure we are given enough time to focus on our studies and train for sports.”

His coach, Jonathas Candido, has played a pivotal role in his journey. Not only does he help Gray improve his skills on the field, but he also acts as a mentor and guide during tough times.

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Candido, a former professional athlete himself, was presented with the challenge of establishing the Cruzeiro Football Academy in 2013 and has spearheaded its growth ever since. Today, the academy has grown into a massive programme with seven Brazilian football coaches and over 300 male and female students ranging from under five to seniors.

“We focus on implementing the training methods we learnt in Brazil and providing opportunities for student-athletes to play professional football by guiding them through the college process football-wise,” Candido shares.

BISP's football academy offers students incredible opportunities that look great on applications, such as the chance to compete globally in tournaments such as the IBERCUP, where they became champions in 2019 and most recently again in 2022, despite being the only school competing in the competition. BISP’s wide range of football pitches also allow them to host Soccer 7’s each November —- Asia’s largest such tournament featuring 120 teams from 35 international schools, some 1,350 competitors from 8 different countries.

He adds, "I recently played my 4th Soccer 7s tournament, and it was great to have it back after two years of pandemic restrictions. Seeing all the schools come together and play on our campus was a fantastic experience."

An enriching student experience awaits at the British International School, Phuket.

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