August 14, 2017
From 4th to 10th August, the IFMA Youth World Championship with over 1500 participants from 79 countries took place in the city of Bangkok. It was the first Youth World Championship for MuayThai and IFMA as a IOC recognized Sport Federation. The IFMA Youth World Championship is more than just a sporting event: it is an educational and cultural exchange with many activities outside the field of play. The main hotel hosting most of the participants with over 700 rooms was completely transformed; the IFMA Sports Director described it as ‘one of the biggest Youth Gatherings of the World”, with a “cultural square”, the WADA Anti-Doping Outreach Programme Booth, several Sport Integrity play stations, a full sized MuayThai gym and a special Muay Talay Game Swimming pool. The competition arena had three boxing rings, that hosted around 700 matches with a special stadium used for the cultural sport programme.
About 1000 kids were on board for the cultural dinner cruise and one of the highlights of the event was the Work Youth Conference - which included an Athlete Focus Panel, and also speakers from UNESCO and Right To Play. IFMA President Dr Tapsuwan stated that “…the grass root development work is key for IFMA and fostering, promoting, integrating and listening to our youth is key”.
The ARISF President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli was invited for the official ARISF flag ceremony when the youth of five continents brought in the ARISF flag and raised it with pride, honoring IFMA”s commitment to Olympic Values and Ethics. The ARISF President gave a speech congratulating the IFMA youth for being ambassadors for sport and for the five pillars of MuayThai: respect, honour, tradition, excellence and fair play. The event finished with a world youth Awards Gala, themed 'Reach for the Stars', chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, HE Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, a moving tribute where the youth of the world stood together in solidarity while the talented Evelyn Feroza, who was also the opening act at the IOC Convention in Kuala Lumpur, sang a heartfelt rendition of Leonard Cohen's ‘Hallelujah', while the kids stood together in solidarity.
Dr. Raffaele Chiulli stated that his visit to Bangkok was also very important for the meetings with IFMA Secretary General, AIMS President and GAISF Vice President Stephan Fox, to discuss the continued cooperation within the SportAccord family and also in view of preparing activities towards the SportAccord Convention 2018 which will be held in Bangkok.
Photo: ARISF President with IFMA President, Dr. Tapsuwan and the volunteer kids of the event
Photo Credits: Getty images
Photo: ARISF President with Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and MuayThai Legend Buakaw Banchamek
Photo Credits: Getty images