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TaiSPO 2023, Sports and Fitness Taiwan Opens a New Chapter After a Glorious 40 Years with New Strategies to Create Business Opportunities for the Industry

TaiSPO organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) takes place at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 from March 22 through 25, 2023. The exhibition, formerly known as Taiwan Int’l Sporting Goods Show for 40 years, will be unveiled this year as TaiSPO, Sports and Fitness Taiwan to reposition itself in alignment with global trends in fitness and sports technology, focusing on three major themes–sports & fitness, sustainable lifestyle and smart technology while facilitating exhibitors to materialize business opportunities in international markets.

Simon Wang, President & CEO of TAITRA, suggested at the pre-opening press conference on the 14th that this year’s exhibition will promote three new strategies—new ecosystem, new trend and new alliance. In implementation of the strategy of “new ecosystem,” the exhibition will be zoned according to sport environments instead of product categories as in previous years, which will expand imaginative possibilities of an ecosystem in the fitness and sports industry and bring together diverse product offerings in the same sport environment. For example, this year’s Outdoor Taipei will gather exhibitors of outdoor leisure products, which range from campers, tents to fishing tackle, and cross-country bicycles and recreational vehicles to conjure up an outdoor leisure space for parents and children to spend quality time together, presenting multiple facets of an outdoor sport and recreation culture.

To ride on “new trends,” two brand-new pavilions will be added to TaiSPO 2023. The Pavilion of Sports Tech will showcase fitness & sports products and services designed with concepts of AI, big data analysis, and cloud computing. Taiwan’s world-famous fitness equipment manufacturers, Johnson Health Tech and Dyaco, will both provide exhibition visitors with opportunities to experience performance-upgraded intelligence products. The All-age Fitness Zone features children’s play equipment and gym design for seniors, where visitors can find products and services that are instrumental in new life solutions that promote lifelong fitness and mobility in prevention of the need for long-term care.

TaiSPO is also keen to create new dynamics in the sports & fitness market through cross-sector alliances, collaborating with international sport competition organizers and celebrating concerted efforts of industry, government and academia. 2023 NPC Worldwide Muscle Contest organized by Fitness Factory, which will gather contestants and judges from around the world, is set to take place at TaiNEX 2 during TaiSPO and expected to raise the profile of the exhibition even further and advance international exchanges. The exhibition will also attest to the vigor and strength of Taiwanese startups in the sports industry as entrepreneurs incubated by the IAPS Tech Startup Accelerator at Yangming Chiaotung University are engaged as exhibitors and the achievements of the sports science research bridging project co-sponsored by Taiwan Normal University and the National Science and Technology Council are presented.

The new strategies have enabled 2023 TaiSPO to deliver promising results even before it officially opens. There are 43 first-time exhibitors, accounting for 25% of the total. Not only has the exhibition expanded its diversity with their participation, but it has also grown twofold in the overall scale from the year before with as many as 800 booths. In addition, it has also seen a significant increase in international participation, with multiple world-class sports and fitness organizations represented by high-level delegates, including WFSGI (the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry), FESI (the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry) and the Singapore Fitness Federation (SFA). In-person B2B matchmaking meetings are also coming back. So far nearly 600 international buyers from 50 plus countries have registered for a visit, and the number of private business meetings is expected to exceed 50.

TaiSPO 2023 will host a lineup of entertaining and informative events, including Taiwan’s first “Digital Sports Meet for Influencers,” where eight top sports influencers and players will compete on stage in four digital sports events—Stampede, SmartBoard, uGym 3D Rowing and VAR BOX shooting games and the Forum on Development of Sports Technology—Resilience, Sustainability and Beyond, which will be attended by business leaders from FESI, FIT Summit in Singapore, Johnson Health Tech, and Taiwan’s startups— IMOTEK and Uniigym.

This year’s TaiSPO has undergone a makeover from previous years to mirror the latest trends in the global market, connect technology and humanity, and foster exchange and partnership. TaiSPO is the annual must-attend trade show for everyone in the sports and fitness industry, where you will find most innovative solutions for smart sports and life. The exhibition starts on March 22nd and runs until 25th. Businesses are welcome to register online in advance for entry with business cards. It is scheduled to open to ticketed visitors on the third and fourth days. For more information about the exhibition and relevant events, please visit the official website:


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Game Changer tells ‘a good story’ but that’s as far as its accolades should go

Speaker, blogger and public health researcher Zoë Harcombe, Ph.D., details Netflix’s film, The Game Changers and says it tells “a good story,” but that’s as far as the 2019 documentary’s accolades should go, she suggests. In this presentation from Dec. 15, 2019, Harcombe offers an incisive and often humorous critique of the arguments the film makes in favor of a plant-based diet.

Zoë Harcombe on The Game Changers: Good Story, Unconvincing Argument:

AFT Film Recommendations: KARMA

KARMA is a small film with a big philosophical question: what is more important, inner development or outward social action? In a nunnery in the high desert mountains of Mustang, a revered abbess dies, leaving signs that she will be reborn in the precious human form once more. Prayers and rituals must be done to help her consciousness into its next rebirth, but the nunnery coffers are empty. The senior nuns decide that the only way out is to retrieve money loaned out by the nunnery. The two nuns assigned this mission are Karma, a free-spirited nun, and her opposite, Sonam, a more by the book nun.

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A Thousand Cuts (2020): in defense of truth and democracy

Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy. Produced, written and directed by Ramona S. Diaz (IMELDA, MOTHERLAND).
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5 documentaries that bring hope in Regenerating our Planet

Team AFT explores the narrative about people who are trying to make a positive change for the planet. People who are regenerating lands and greening the planet with regenerative agriculture. We’ve handpicked five titles for your enjoyment. It must be mentioned, that we got onto this exploratory path after watching Diana Rodgers RD’s Sacred Cow. A Real Food Nutritionist, Author & Sustainability Advocate, Rodgers’ film discusses the meat industry that’s being blamed for everything from cancer to global warming. Are cattle being unfairly scapegoated?


1. Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a native forest

Summary: Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.

Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Find out more about the film at

Directed by Jordan Osmond & Antoinette Wilson
Written by Antoinette Wilson, Jordan Osmond, and Nick Tucker
Producer: Antoinette Wilson
Executive producer: Quatro Trust
Cinematography: Jordan Osmond & Jason Hosking
Editing: Jordan Osmond
Sound recording: Anna Veale
Original score: Karl Steven and Ariana Tikao
Sound mixing: James Henderson
Color grade: Mike Kelland

2. Regreening the desert with John D. Liu

Summary: For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has been working on his worldwide mission to green deserts and to restore biodiversity. It all started in 1995 when Liu filmed the Loess-plateau in China. He witnessed a local population who turned an area of almost the same size as The Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into one green oasis. This experience changed his life. From that moment on, Liu has been travelling all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers and farmers with his film material and knowledge. Liu diligently spreads the message that restoration of ecosystems is not only possible, but also economically very meaningful. Backlight accompanies Liu on his mission in Jordan and shows on the basis of Liu’s own film material that a green future is possible worldwide.

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2012. © VPRO Backlight April 2012 On VPRO broadcast you will find nonfiction videos with English subtitles, French subtitles and Spanish subtitles, such as documentaries, short interviews and documentary series. VPRO Documentary publishes one new subtitled documentary about current affairs, finance, sustainability, climate change or politics every week. We research subjects like politics, world economy, society and science with experts and try to grasp the essence of prominent trends and developments.

3. This country isn’t just carbon neutral – it’s carbon negative

Summary: Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country’s mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

4. ecologyst films presents Farmer.Sailor.Chef

Summary: Taking place on land and sea, Farmer.Sailor.Chef follows the adventure of the Providence (the oldest working vessel in BC, a 1903 80′ tall ship). Sail with her owner and captain, Simon Fawkes, and his crew across the Salish Sea to Salt Spring Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island. Pause en route to fish with wild chef and fisherman Teddy Cusco, landing at the beautiful biodynamic Stowell Lake Farm. A farm renowned in the local area for its community ownership model, its beautiful quiet spaces, and its abundant fresh veg from regenerative farming practices. The film dives into our characters’ stories and sustainable practices, sunrise to sunset on the farm, and the wild BC landscape. It culminates in a visually captivating celebratory meal outside with produce from the farm and other hyperlocal ingredients, cooked up by the film’s chef, Kyle Gerrard.

A delight for the senses, an ode to BC’s adventurous spirit, a culinary experience. Step aboard.

Directed by Cam MacArthur
Executive Producer: Rene Gauthier
Co-Executive Producers: Simon Fawkes and Kyle Gerrard
Associate Producer: Momme Halbe
Cinematographers: Cam MacArthur and Hugh Allen
Sound by Jasper Sassaman
Edited by Cam MacArthur and Gabriel Swift

5. Unbroken Ground: Revolutions start from the bottom

Summary: Unbroken Ground explains the critical role food will play in the next frontier of our efforts to solve the environmental crisis. It explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans. Most of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. We believe our food can and should be a part of the solution to the environmental crisis – grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore our land, water and wildlife. The film tells the story of four groups that are pioneers in the fields of regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, diversified crop development and restorative fishing.

What Agnes Saw, world’s oldest living Olympian shares in new film

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched “What Agnes Saw” – a film which features the oldest-living Olympic champion, Agnes Keleti, and the 13-year-old British skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown. The video juxtaposes the wisdom of age with the passion of youth to offer a light in the darkness and remind us of the moments of hope and inspiration that occur when the world comes together for the Olympic Games.

Agnes is a reminder of the power of resilience, and proof that one can experience the worst aspects of humanity and, against all odds, rise above it. This film is a part of the IOC’s StrongerTogether campaign and reminds us of the importance of having inner resilience. It reflects the Olympic motto: “faster, higher, stronger – together.

The film, voiced by actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game), was directed by Martin Desmond Roe and Travon Free – the Academy Award-winning directors of the acclaimed short film “Two Distant Strangers” – and produced for the IOC in partnership with Oscar-, Emmy- and Gold Lion-winning studio Dirty Robber.

Revolving around a people-centric message that we are stronger together, the digital campaign emphasises the IOC’s belief in solidarity – that the world only moves forward when it moves together – and the power of the Olympic brand to unite people, communities and nations across the globe. 


TEACHER, The Tradition Bearer

Summary: ‘Nattuva Thilagam’ Indira Manikam and her sister Kamalaa Ramachandran belongs to a traditional family of Carnatic musicians and vocalists. She was born in Kuala Lumpur on 12 July 1951 to her father Govindaraju and mother Amaravathi.

At a very young age, the sisters were sent away to learn and master Barathanatyam, Carnatic music and Nattuvangam at the Pichaiya Pillai Bharatha Natya Vidyalaya in Tanjavur, South India, under the guidance of their guru, Srimathi Duraiammal. Their guru belonged to the lineage of the famed Tanjore Quartette, connoisseurs of the Tanjore style of Barathanatyam, known for its fluid and graceful footwork and facial expressions.

Upon graduating, the sisters returned to Malaysia and established Tanjai Kamala Indira Dance School (TKI), one of Malaysia’s longest-running dance academies, in 1966. The formative years of TKI weren’t easy; they hardened Indira in many ways. She met with the harsh realities of life, more glaringly the undesirable perception towards the divine classical dance form that she worships.

Indira Manikam has mastered Bharatanatyam and has dedicated her entire life to teaching the oldest classical dance tradition that originated almost 3,000 years ago in Tamil Nadu, India. In the ancient years, the spiritual dance Bharatanatyam was performed for deities within the sacred walls of the temples. But, when the British rulers annexed the Tanjore crown in 1856, the cultural patronage in Thanjavur officially collapsed. The Christian missionaries and British officials launched the anti-dance movement in 1892 and dishonoured the practice, ending the livelihood of the dance practitioners and performers. Many Devadasis took to prostitution, and Bharatanatyam fell into disrepute. Instead of protecting, some temple institutions even started exploiting the dancers.

However, in the early 20th century, renowned revivalists joined hands to reclaim the classical art form and gave it the lifeline that it has today. Like her forebears, dancer, and teacher, Indira Manikam has vowed to dance through the barriers, break the stereotype, dismantle old beliefs, and eventually elevate the classical dance’s stature among the traditional and new generation Malaysian Indian diaspora.

TEACHER, The Tradition Bearer intimately documents Bharatanatyam pioneer Indira Manikam’s role as a tradition bearer, one who kept this sacred dance form alive, vibrant and relevant, in all its splendid weightiness and dramatic vocabulary, for the past 55 years in Malaysia.

Through the lens of the legendary dance teacher, this documentary captures her journey, explores the power of art, and womanhood through various shades and vignettes that represent dance as she reflects on how she came to be the tradition bearer she is.

Producer: Maran Perianen
Director/Editor: Indrani Kopal
Director of Photography: Senthilkumaran Muniandy & Navin Perianen
Sound Design & Mixing: Jeson Gnanapnegasam & Soundniverse Studio
Music: Tanjai Kamalaa Indira Dance School’s Orchestra
Running Time: 58-minute
Country Malaysia:


Can Low-FODMAP diets help patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is one of the most common gastro-intestinal disorders, affecting 10% -15% of the population worldwide. But what is IBS? 

IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine and involves a disturbance in the intestinal or bowel motor function and sensation. While the cause for IBS is not completely found, genetic disposition, infection especially in the intestine and traumatic life experiences that cause chronic stress are factors may play a role.

People with IBS have symptoms ranging from bloating to abdominal pain  It is usually triggered by diet, stress, changes in gut bacteria and poor sleep. The symptoms change over time. Sometimes it reduces or disappears and there may be periods where it flares up. Bowel movement will also vary accordingly.

The effect of diet on IBS varies from person to person. The food consumed might worsen the IBS in some people. Certain foods are known to stimulate gut reactions in general, and in those with IBS eating too much of these might worsen symptoms. That is why a research team in Monash University Australia developed the Low-FODMAP diet to help reduce symptoms of IBS. 

In Australia, the Low-FODMAP diet has been accepted as the primary strategy for managing IBS in patients. The Australian team found that a short-chain of carbohydrates called FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) caused problems for people with IBS. 

These carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and they quickly get fermented by the bacteria that is in the gut. These bacteria produce gas which is a major contributor to IBS symptoms. 

By reducing FODMAP in the diet of patients with IBS, studies found that there was improvement in gut health and a reduction in symptoms of IBS. The low FODMAP diet is flexible and can be tailored to meet an individual’s lifestyle and preferences. Following the low FODMAP approach does not cure IBS, but allows successful drug-free management of symptoms through diet in many patients.  

Monash University also has a Low FODMAP Diet app which provides users with easy access to recommended foods that should be eaten and those which should be avoided at every meal. The app is directly from the research team who developed FODMAP. The app also has an easy guide on which foods have high and low FODMAPs as well over 80 low-FODMAP recipes. 

It is important to know that the application  of a low-FODMAP diet requires expert guidance from a dietician or a nutritionist trained in IBS. Low-FODMAP diets involve restricting FODMAPs for 6 to 8 weeks and then slowly introducing small amounts of Low-FODMAPs. 

This diet is not a lifetime diet and the progress will be monitored by a dietician who will advise you on when and which foods need to be slowly introduced back into your diet. The Low-FODMAP diet is a process and not just a list of foods, therefore expert guidance is required throughout your journey.

This article has been researched, compiled and written by the team at Asia Fitness Today; Sneha Ramesh – Intern, Monash University (Sunway campus), Syuhada Adam – Editorial consultant, Nikki Yeo & Jasmine Low – Director/Producer.

Asia Fitness Today has embarked on MISSION 2030 — to halve NCD rates in the Asia Pacific region by 2030. If we could ask if you could please share this article on social media or with someone you know and care about so we can perpetuate this ripples of awareness in the community. It begins with a whisper, a drop in the ocean and slowly, change can happen. It begins with us. Learn more:


Cathy Freeman’s Golden Olympic moment preserved on synthetic DNA in high tech capsule to last thousands of years

On 25 September 2020, the famous white exterior sails of the Sydney Opera House became an enormous movie screen, showing footage of Australian Catherine Freeman’s 400-metre gold medal win on the very same day, 20 years ago at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000.

In 49.11 seconds, Freeman crossed the historical finish as the first Aboriginal athlete to win gold in an individual event at the Olympic Games. The cinematic event celebrated not only Freeman’s historic achievement but also its audiovisual preservation for future generations on an innovative, sustainable, long-term storage technology called “synthetic DNA”.

This has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH) and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA). The synthetic DNA project is a world first, and Freeman’s 400-metre gold medal win is the first Australian video to be encoded. The master recording of the historic race has been stored by the OFCH in Switzerland on magnetic tape, a technology commonly used 20 years ago. It is part of the 6.6 petabytes (1 petabyte = 1 million gigabytes) of the IOC’s audiovisual archives, a massive volume that could nonetheless triple in another 10 years. Thanks to this collective effort between the OFCH and NFAS, the one-gigabyte digitised file of Freeman’s gold-winning race will now be kept on microscopic synthetic DNA in a vial the size of a AAA battery. This innovative, sustainable storage technology can be preserved for thousands of years without maintenance. “As the custodian of large digital collections, and with the growing amount of images produced at every Games edition – more than 7,000 hours are planned for Tokyo 2020 – plus the evolution towards 4k and 8k, data storage will soon become an issue for the IOC. We are therefore always looking for ways to improve technologies and test innovations,” said Yasmin Meichtry, Head of Heritage at the OFCH.

“Synthetic DNA storage is the avant-garde technology that could lead to cost efficiencies and more sustainable and environmentally responsible ways to increase the capacity of our data storage,” Meichtry continued. “We are thus thrilled to partner with the NFSA in experimenting with that ground-breaking scientific knowledge, using one of our emblematic Olympic moments.” NFSA Chief Executive Officer Jan Müller said, “Catherine Freeman’s triumph at Sydney 2000 was a key moment in Australian sporting history. It brought Australians of all ages and backgrounds together in celebration, and it was viewed by billions of people around the world. We see this moment as part of ‘Australia’s DNA’, ideal to be preserved in actual DNA and become Australia’s first usage of this new technology.”

Source: PRNewsGIG/IOC
Video Courtesy National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.