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JAN.-FEB. 2013 NEWSLETTER Muaythai Gives Back: Practising Social Responsibility January and February are associated with the new year...and with new year’s resolutions. Making and keeping resolutions is about identifying areas for growth in one’s life and community and then taking the leap into the new! IFMA’s Female Commission led the way by sharing its New Year’s resolutions for 2013, to help female Muaythai to continue to develop. February is also a month people associate with love...and the best kind of love gives back to others and makes a difference in people’s lives. Muaythai is a sport with a strong image, and the ability to make strong changes, to care about community and the environment. Muaythai has a busy calendar coming up, with the lead-up to the Muaythai Kids & Junior World Championships next month, from the 13th-17th of March in Istanbul, Turkey. As the first time that the Junior World Championships are being held independently from the Seniors, this is an important and historic step for Muaythai youth.
Check out our top 3 resolutions:
1. Muaythai Fights For A Good Cause
Asia began the year leading the way with qualifiers for the Sport Accord World Combat Games in October this year, with the All Chinese Championships bringing together Macau, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and China to compete in Macau. Held for the fourth time, the Championships were once again visited by representatives from the governments and Olympic movements of all four countries. Then Hong Kong hosted a qualifier, filling the Hong Kong Convention Centre to bursting point. Next, Malaysia, which took center stage with the International Emmy nominated show “The Challenger Muaythai,” entered the spotlight again with the Perak Amanjaya Muaythai International 2013 competition. Organized by the BN Youth Perak, Perak Muaythai Amateur Association and the Malaysian Muaythai Association, the event was supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, and part of the ticket sales were donated to the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. In Canada, donating to cancer research is also on the cards next month, as Calgary hosts the final of the Journey Fight Series IX. The event is part of an annual commitment by the organizers to fundraise for breast cancer research.
2. Muaythai Fights for the Children One of IFMA’s mottos is “The Kids are our Future”…and it’s a message the New Zealand Muaythai Federation took to heart this February. Raising awareness and preventing this kind of abuse from happening are keystones to protecting the youth in our communities, and helping to build a strong future. As a country with some of the highest statistics for child abuse and negligence, New Zealand’s retired Muaythai champions and superstars, many now with families of their own, volunteered to put on the gloves again in a special night to raise money and awareness for this topic. From the proceeds, 75% was donated to the “Child Matters” organisation, towards their awareness programmes, education and training programmes and youth and families support. In exchange, Child Matters is helping to conduct training programmes for coaches and gyms working with children, to create awareness, recognise the signs of abuse and demonstrate ways in which the Muaythai family can change communities. A very special thank you must go to the New Zealand Muaythai Federation and all the former champions for inspiring us. They are champions not for the belts they have won but for what they are doing in their lives and communities. Sport can make a difference. Visit the Child Matters website: http://www.childmatters.org.nz/
3. Muaythai Keeps Green The Organizing Committee for the 2014 IFMA World Championships has been giving deep thought to tackle the issues of raising environmental understanding and ensuring that the world is a fitter and better place. The Malaysian Muaythai Association and IFMA have made an agreement with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help to protect and treasure the orang-utans, which are part of Malaysia’s valuable wildlife. A competition in all Malaysian schools is taking place, and prizes will be given to the students who develop the best logo for the 2014 World Championships, using the mascot of IFMA 2014, the orang -utan. Langkawi, which will become IFMA’s “Muaythai Island“ in 2014, became famous for its ecotourism, its mangrove forest and the diversity of birds, butterflies and other wildlife. IFMA must be part of protecting this natural heritage, not disturbing it. Thinking and acting responsibly are part of IFMA’s serious duties in planning next year’s World Championships.
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JAN.-FEB. 2013 NEWSLETTER Muaythai Gets Ready: What’s in store for the coming months? Staying on the theme of sand and sun, Muaythai has been included by the Olympic Council of Asia in the 2014 Asian Beach Games. Scheduled around November 2014, strategizing a greener footprint based on the model for Langkawi, is part of IFMA’s environmental preparedness plan. Let’s keep working for sustainable sport, and building a greener legacy!
AIMAGs in Incheon
There are 4 months to go until the opening of the biggest Asian martial arts event, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, under the banner of the Olympic Council of Asia. Athletes from 25 Asian countries have qualified and entry forms have been forwarded by their respective National Olympic Committees.
Istanbul, March 13th-17th: Muaythai Kids & Juniors World Championships
There will be another bonus, as all the winners in the SportAccord World Combat Games divisions will also earn their tickets to Saint Petersburg. Muaythai has a huge following in Korea, and no doubt will be one of the outstanding sports in the games in Incheon.
The lovely city of Istanbul will soon be hosting the IFMA World Muaythai Kids & Junior Championships in a celebration of fun and cultural exchange, with some friendly competition.
Sport and Culture can mix: Silk Road Cup
The organizing committee from the Turkish Muaythai Federation emphasises that fun is the key: being healthy, learning something new, and meeting other young, aspiring athletes from around the world. A schedule of activities will ensure that the Junior World Championships will be memorable. Some important meetings are also planned for the participating National Federations, a WADA educational seminar thanks to cooperation from SportAccord, a workshop on how to implement the Sport Is Your Gang campaign and a motivational update about IF-NF relations and how both sides can get more from one another. We’re all looking forward to this fantastic cultural and sporting event!
Muaythai Day 2013 This year the Muaythai Day festival in Thailand was organized with the joint cooperation of the Royal Thai Government, National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture and IFMA and the WMC. Many international Muaythai community representatives travelled to Thailand to be part of the celebrations. The festivities kicked off with homage to the late Tiger King, followed by a succession of beautiful wai kru demonstrations in all of the 6 different styles - Muay Lopburi, Muay Chaiya, Muay Tah Sao, Muay Pak Klang, Muay Korad and Muay Palasueksa. The audience was then entertained with a special performance by international Muaythai superstars such as Yodsanklai and Saiyok Pumpanmuang, both of whom will all be participating at the upcoming Thai Fight which will be organised in cooperation with the Thailand National Culture Commission and IFMA to promote the Muaythai Towards Highest Sport Recognition campaign.
May 4th-5th will be the final of the Muaythai Silk Road Cup, a journey back 1,000 years into the past, from China to Arabia, Persia and Europe, in the footsteps of the great merchants, explorers and adventurers who founded one of the greatest trade networks of the ancient world. 16 finalists will travel to the heart of the Silk Road, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to participate in this event which mixed history, culture and sport into one irresistible package. Many VIPs and Cultural Ministers will be part of the event, including the President of Sport Accord, Mr. Verbruggen, as this will also be a qualifier for the upcoming World Combat Games. The event will be televised throughout all Asia.
Only 8 months to go until the only event which brings together all Olympic and non-Olympic Combat Sports, at the most prestigious combat event in the world. Qualifications are in process on all five continents, from North and South America, to Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The elite are competing for a spot at the top. Combining sport and culture, all eilte athletes will participate, while IFMA promotes cultural exchange through its ‘Night of Culture’ and many other activities planned for Saint Petersburg.
The Emmys Recap A new and special honour has been awarded to Muaythai, which we would like to commemorate: The Challenger Muaythai made it into the final four nominations for an International Emmy Award in the Non-scripted entertainment category. The show had a viewership of 400 million. We look forward to the future, when we can claim an Emmy as our own!