The Grand Ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel was packed to the bursting point for the United Through Muaythai Conference in co-operation with United Through Sports. The event was co-organized by the International Federations of Muaythai Associations, the IOC recognized umbrella body of Muaythai, the Amateur Muaythai Association under Royal Patronage, the Sport Authority of Thailand, the National Olympic Committee of Thailand and the Ministry of Culture.
The event was opened by the Chair of the Parliament Sport Commission welcoming the representatives of the Embassies, UNESCO, United Through Sports, Right to Play, the IFMA Executives and AMTAT for this important conference to unite Muaythai for common visions and goals.
The event opened with a 30 minute show going back in time with over 60 performers from all ages coming together to take the audience back in time to the legendary story of the Tiger King.
The former Minister of Tourism and Sport, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, spoke about Muaythai and the power of Muaythai through its cultural values to contribute to society and a better tomorrow.
Julia Govinden, the CEO of United Through Sports, highlighted the close cooperation between UTS and IFMA, giving examples on how IFMA uses Muaythai as a cultural art form and sport towards positive youth development which is acknowledged and respected not only in world of sports.
Dr. Sue Vize, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific, highlighted the close cooperation between IFMA and UNESCO manifested in an MoU and also the contribution and examples which was used in the UNESCO Youth Development Through Martial Art evaluation framework.
Janice Lyn, IFMA Athletes Commission Chairman, made an emotional report on IFMA’s principles and policy for the well-being and protection of the athletes. She discussed IFMA’s non-discrimination and unity in diversity policies and gender equality success.
Azadeh Kamyabi, the Asian Director of IFMA and IFMA’s Anti-doping Administrator, presented an in depth statistical report analysis and praised IFMA for their continued efforts to protect the clean athletes and put fair play at the center of sport.
Julia Schipper, Acting Country Director of another IOC recognized organization, Right to Play, emphasized the Right to Play ethos and outlined the strong cooperation it holds with IFMA and their work with displaced youth giving them opportunity and access to play, sport, fun and friendship.
IFMA General Secretary, Stephan Fox, presented IFMA’s historical timeline thanking all IFMA’s former leaders which have laid the foundation for Muaythai. There could not have been a better day to honor them. He also again, gave the commitment of IFMA and the 137 member countries to respect IFMA’s commitment to Muaythai and the cultural heritage and the commitment to the youth.
IFMA President, Dr. Tapsuwan, closed the event thanking everyone, the Royal Thai Government and other agencies for their support. The event ended with the IFMA Official Anthem, “We Are Muaythai.”