Muaythai Athletes from over 30 countries participated in the recent World Martial Arts Masterships in Chungju, Korea, home to Honorary Chairman of the World Masterships and the 8th UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Athletes from Canada, Greece, Turkey, USA, Saudi Arabia and Korea presented a donation on behalf of all the muaythai athletes of the Masterships of $5000 USD which was the money collected from the uniform costs for the Chungju Masterships to the CEO of United Through Sports, Ms. Julia Govinden.
United Through Sports is an alliance of many organisations working together through sports to bring unity and peace to an often-divided world. UTS first came to life at the 2018 Sport Accord Convention in Bangkok with the advent of the SportAccord Sports Festival, which allowed youth of all abilities and social backgrounds to participate in various sports disciplines.
Ms. Govinden and UTS are no stranger to the IFMA Athletes. UTS was a major player in the 2018 YWC Athletes’ Conference at the United Nations ESCAP Hall in Bangkok and has continued to be one of the key educators for the athletes on Social Responsibility at annual Athletes Forums at both youth and adult IFMA world championships.
At this year’s 2019 World Championships in Bangkok, the athletes were able to experience the lasting legacy of the 2018 SportAccord Convention by experiencing the finals of the Bangkok Urban Youth Tournament, which was comprised of children from different social backgrounds, including a refugee team from Mae Sot, to participate in friendly and fun competition of various sports disciplines. IFMA Athletes and coaches also participated in an afternoon muaythai workout at IFMA’s official gym, Mongkon Academy, (who is also in partnership with UTS) with the Mae Sot refugee team. The refugee youth enthusiastically learned the art of muaythai from athletes and coaches of various teams of different countries and had a chance to visit the UTS education centre at Mongkon Academy.
For the Final day of muaythai, the VIP section was filled with personalities from the world of sport: GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli, Governor of Chungju, Mr. Li, President of World Taekwondo, Dr. Choue, Jiu Jitsu President Dr. Panagiotis, President of Savate, Julie Gabriel, CEO of Sambo Michal Buchel and the list goes on.
Muaythai only recently signed an MoU with World Taekwondo during the World Championship in Bangkok at the BUYT. Where World Taekwondo sent their World Demonstration team. The alliance between World Taekwondo and Muaythai is towards the ones in need, especially the refugee program. This is why the athletes from over 30 countries participating in the World Masterships donated 5000 USD through the UTS initiative.
Taylor McClatchie from Canada stated that she was proud to stand on behalf of the athletes and giving back plays such an important part in muaythai where the athletes stand in unity regardless of race or religion to support the youth in need.
UTS CEO, Julia Govinden, who received the donation, stated that the World Masterships is another fantastic example of how sport can build bridges and how the athletes of the world stand united.
His Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, also the chair of the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee once said, “Together let us do even more to harness the immeasurable potential of sport to foster a better world; a world which we all dream of where human rights are fully respected and protected.”
The athletes found it fitting to present this donation in the name of sport, unity and peace in Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s hometown and at an event under his organisation.