The Muaythai events under IFMA have gone much further than holding a sports competition. IFMA tournaments are a combination of competition, education, social inclusion, conferences and much more.
The Kervansaray amphitheater turned into the venue of the important conference for all participants of the Youth World Muaythai Championships 2019 with speakers from the International Testing Agency (ITA) Olya Abasolo, IFMA Athletes Commission Janice Lyn, CEO of the United Through Sports Julia Govinden and many more.
The conference was opened by the IFMA President Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan who greeted all the athletes and thanked them for their professionalism and sportsmanship in and outside the field of play. Many of the youth could truly inspire so many to make our world a better and friendlier place.
IFMA Director Ms Charissa Tynan took over the floor thanking Dr Sakchye for his energy which inspires all athletes from 10 to 40 years. Ms Tynan addressed the audience with an important message of sports ethics and integrity again reminding participants that IFMA is one big family where athletes of all cultures, religions, and ethnicity share their passion for sports, compete in the same ring and enjoy their friendship.
A bright presentation by Ms Olya Abasolo from ITA revealed the audience the rights and duties of athletes related to doping control and truly put another brick in the foundation of anti-doping awareness among the IFMA youth. Her multilingual approach ensured that all participants were included in the dialogue and quizzes Ms. Abasolo offered. The information shared and the delivery made teams listen holding their breath as even the youngest participants now understand that in a few years they will represent their country and IFMA at the championships and multi-sports games. Only them will bear responsibility for their actions and Ms Abasolo made an amazing effort to bring it to more than 800 young minds.
The IFMA Athletes Commission Ms. Janice Lyn continued the conference with an important reminder for athletes, coaches, parents and the entire athletes’ entourage bringing up the questions of nutrition and ways of weight loss. Ms Lyn’s degree in nutrition truly built her image in front of the audience and let participants learn how they can manage their diet and weight and plan their preparation for the upcoming events. Important point Ms Lyn touched was the weight cutting and again her own experience played an important part in the conversation with athletes whose weight is so rapidly changing from event to event. It was a valuable lesson for many and it was just the beginning of a long conversation between the leader of all athletes and so many youth wishing to become champions.
Important issues were addressed by the CEO of United Through Sport Ms Julia Govinden who is the IFMA’s long-lasting partner building a better life for hundreds of kids through sport. Ms. Govinden said that cooperation with IFMA allowed her to reach out to the youth from refugee camps, meet the kids and give them opportunities to be part of the regular life in Bangkok. Events organised by IFMA and UTS included the displaced youth from Burma and Cambodia as they competed at the special event Bangkok Urban Youth Tournament. It was an invaluable lesson for all the parties involved; embassies, charity organisations, sports federations and the government that through sport youth can have a chance for a better life.
Winning Is Not Everything was another part of Ms Govinden’s presentation which addressed also parents as well as the competitors. Ms. Govinden emphasised that though medals is the ultimate goal of each athlete there are so many more victories they achieve through the competition like new friendships, female empowerment, and becoming an inspiration for many youth around to world.
The conference concluded with inspiring speech by IFMA Secretary General Mr. Stephan Fox who congratulated the youth on being part of the Youth World Championships and stated that no matter win or lose all the athletes are already winners as they made the list of the world’s best Muaythai athletes of 2019.
Mr Fox thanked the entire IFMA team for making this event a big success and special thanks should go to the Turkish organisers who invited the youth of the world to Antalya to experience the wonderful Turkish nature and hospitality.