Swimming & Football

HeadStart’s Sports Academies are designed for our top sports performers and school representative athletes from the age of 10 years old and up. We currently have two sports academies, one for swimming and one for football. Academies run from 4:30-6:00 pm daily and on Saturday mornings unless announced otherwise. This development pathway creates further opportunities for children to develop skills in our core sports and in turn ensure our competitive school teams develop and are successful. We have professional Head Coaches for each Academy backed up by very experienced coaching staff in both sports.

Once a student is signed up for an academy, parents and students will be required to read the handbook and fill out a contract that demonstrates an understanding of school policies and code of conduct. A copy of the handbook and contract can be found in the downloads below.

Fees and Insurance

The academy programmes are charged at an annual fee of 15,000 baht for the 2020-2021 academic year and 30,000 Baht for consecutive years. The fees charged are for the training programme only which consists of a minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 training sessions per week. This fee does not include trips, events, or competitions that may fall outside of the regular academy training times.

If students compete in a school organised activity at another international school within Phuket, students are covered under school insurance policy. If students travel outside of Phuket (domestically or internationally), extra insurance will be provided by HeadStart. Due to the limited coverage of the student group accident insurance, it is highly recommended that parents purchase additional health and accident insurance for their child or children in case of emergencies.

Swim Academy
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Zak Brown

Head Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Zak Brown. I’m from Bakersfield, California and started swimming at the age of 10. During High School, I helped lead our team to becoming league champions 4 years in a row. After High School, I attended Bakersfield College and continued swimming for Bakersfield Swim Club. During this time, I've competed all over California as well as traveling to other states for national level competitions. After 2 years of junior college; I moved to Niagara Falls, New York and competed at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my stay at Niagara University, I was able to set three school relay records and I received a degree in marketing and logistics. I've enjoyed coaching swimming for over 11 years and have worked with athletes on all levels from beginners to Olympians. I feel very fortunate that swimming has given me the opportunity to meet incredible people from all over the world. Swimming is more than just a sport to me, it's become a lifestyle. The lessons learned through swimming stay with you your entire life. This is my sixth year with HeadStart and I am really excited to work with the students to further develop their swimming abilities. Last season our Aqua Panthers hit best times and won the league championships. We have a lot of momentum building up to this year and I am excited to lead the team to new heights!

The HeadStart Swim Academy pushes each student-athlete to strive both in the classroom and the pool. Our training schedule offers 10 practices per week so our students can maximize their study time and continue with their development in the water. Each session for the Aqua Panthers offers technique work, endurance building, and race strategy. Our goal is to help each athlete develop focus, determination, time management, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic. All swimming competitions and events will be announced in the weekly updates, emailed to parents and are recorded in the calendar.

HeadStart team records can be found here.

Swimming Academy handbook can be found here.


Taking part in competitive competitions is an exciting and challenging opportunity for the students and an important part of their development as swimmers. Each year, members of our team take part in various international competitions such as the Malaysia Invitational Age Group Championships and Neo Garden Singapore Nationals. Additionally, they take part in National competitions in Phuket and Bangkok.

Our annual Swimathon fundraiser is always an exciting event and is successful in raising money for local charities. The event consists of swimmers collecting sponsorship from the community and participating in a 12-hour relay throughout the night.


The Aqua Panthers program develops students into skilled, focused and hardworking athletes; students improve their swimming abilities, as well as growing in personal confidence and resilience. Our program works on all aspects of swimming and life; from technique, speed and endurance to time management, self-discipline and work ethic. The Aqua Panthers program offers three different levels that focus on students’ specific needs. Academy swimmers should commit to attending at least 4 training sessions per week, swim meets and events with a full water bottle, and wearing a full academy kit.

Day of the Week Bronze Silver Gold
Monday 16.30-18.00 - 16:30-18:00
Tuesday 16:30-18:00 16:30-18:00 -
Wednesday 06:00-7:30/ 16:30-18:00 06:00-7:30 am 06:00-7:30/ 16:30-18:00
Thursday 16:30-18:00 16:30-18:00 -
Friday 16:15-17:45 16:15-17:45 16:15-17:45
Saturday 09.00-11.00 for all levels    
Football Academy
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Stef Frost

Head Football Coach
[email protected]

My name is Stef Frost. I’m from Nottingham, England and football has always been my passion. Being a professional footballer was always the dream for me and this came true at the age of just 16 years old. As a young player I joined the academy of the English Professional club Notts County FC. I progressed through the academy ranks from U10s to eventually the Notts County FC first team making my debut against Carlisle United in front of over 11,000 fans. I was awarded the Notts County FC Young Player of the year award and the Youth team player of the year award that same year. I am currently the third youngest player to ever play professionally for Notts County FC. I have also been fortunate enough to play against the likes of Manchester United, Leicester City, Everton, Aston Villa as well as against many high profile players such as premier league goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, England defender Gary Cahill and Inter Milan’s Ashley Young. Due to an Injury which has halted my football career I turned to coaching and I now have over 13 years experience in coaching also gaining my UEFA Licence and FA Youth Award. My coaching journey has taken me from England to Thailand, Australia and New Zealand and has included roles with professional clubs Nottingham Forest FC and Wigan Athletic F.C. I am extremely excited to be the Head Football coach at HeadStart International school and to have the opportunity to build a fantastic footballing program for our players to learn and practice in a fun and positive environment. It is very important for every player to leave each footballing practice having learnt either a new skill either being technical, physical, psychological or social. It is a combination of all these skills which our young players need to improve and succeed in Football and through their journey in life.

The HeadStart Panthers Football Academy is one of the most highly regarded academies for quality coaching and football in Phuket, with experienced coaches, qualified to UEFA A License standard and ex-professional backgrounds. All Academy coaches will work diligently to develop the player’s abilities in four key areas; physical, psychological, technical and tactical competencies. We strive to play fun, fast attacking football with players encouraged to be creative and make decisions effectively.

The HeadStart Football Academy coaches and players uphold six core values in everything we do;

  1. Play the Game: to be technically comfortable and confident with the ball under pressure.
  2. Be Athletic: to be physically competitive in every session.
  3. Game Intelligence: to be tactically flexible and adaptable, depending on the needs of the team.
  4. Forward Thinking: to be positive in everything, especially when facing challenging situations.
  5. Professional: to maintain the highest level of professionalism and respect on-and-off the field.
  6. X-Factor: to be individually creative and confident to try new things in training and matches.

Our overarching aim is to provide all children we coach with more engagement and touches of the football in every session than any other academy programme.

Uniform and Supplies

The full Football Uniform must be worn to all training sessions and matches and can be purchased from the school shop. Shin pads, Football boots, hats, water bottles should be sourced from home. Football Academy players should commit to attending at least 4 training sessions per week, matches and events with a full water bottle, and wearing a full academy kit.

Training Schedule

Each training session follows the same format. An intense, technical-based warm-up followed by a competitive, game-related practice before finishing with a small-sided, conditioned game. A timetable is provided for enrolled players at the beginning of the term.

Football Academy Handbook

Football Academy handbook can be found here.

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