FAMA Athletes Forum 2018 muaythai
FAMA Athletes Forum 2018

Athletes taking part in the Asian Championships attended the FAMA Athletes Forum today, learning practical information on to deepen their understanding of muaythai and the world around sport. Speakers addressed a range of topics including doping, rules of competition, fair play and the Athlete 365 Declaration. They also heard about the exciting and busy schedule of events for the next two years in the Muaythai calendar.

The Forum took place in the tournament hotel, the Harbour View in Macau after a fun-filled day taking part in the charity Walk for a Million and also bravely doing the SkyWalk at the Macau Tower.

First up was Dr Erdogan Aydin, head of the IFMA Medical Commission. He spoke about the dangers of doping and stressed that diuretics are illegal under WADA rules. The Turkish doctor gave examples of how athletes have made mistakes in the past, discussed the catastrophic impact of a four-year ban on any athlete’s career and explained the ways in which athletes can test any medical substances they are given.

His engaging presentation also included a look at the TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) system, and he gave athletes tips on how to access this system. They discussed the ADAMS system and how athletes work with this.

Gunter Plank, senior referee used a series of images from competitions to illustrate tricky points in the muaythai rule system. Working off the back of queries during this tournament, he explained why certain moves score well but others do not. Images of these athletes competing allowed for an immediate understanding of how a block can negate the impact of a shot. He also discussed with them how they can target their shots to be clean and immediately count-able as scores.

Janice Lyn, chair of the Athletes’ Commission talked with her peers about the Athlete’s Declaration Athlete365. In the last two years IFMA has worked hard at integrating within the Olympic Family – since gaining provisional recognition in December 2016  – and increasing the effective role of the athletes is central to this.

Ms Lyn talked athletes through the Declaration, and directed them to the website for reading more. Linking back to Dr Erdogan’s speech, she also stressed the importance of understanding how complex doping can be.

Julia Govinden from United Through Sport spoke about the importance of remembering the values underlying sport both in and outside of competitions. She discussed the risks of allowing ambition and competitiveness to spill over into cheating, whether in the form of doping or committing fouls in the ring. The value of friendship outside of the ring was another theme, especially in the light of the multi-cultural nature of FAMA and IFMA events.

Speakers at the FAMA Athletes Forum 2018
Speakers and organisers at the FAMA Athletes Forum 2018

IFMA General Secretary Stephan Fox then took the floor to inform the athletes about the exciting tournaments lined up for them in the next few years. This includes participation in multi-sports games like The SEA Games 2019 to be held in The Philippines,  The World Games 2021, the Combat Games 2021 and with the possibility of participating at The Asian Games 2022.

Asian athletes will also naturally take part in the World Championships next year, which return to Bangkok for the first time since 2015. The first qualifier for The World Games also takes place in this part of the world – at the Arafura Games 2019.

The athletes gave feed-back on this tournament. And afterwards came together for a group shot at the end of an interesting and informative evening.

Today was a Rest Day at the Asian Championships, action resumes tomorrow.

Full results available daily – broken down round by round for an easy-to-follow path to gold –  on IFMA Live

Full album of photos including those in this post from the Macau LOC on IFMA Facebook  

More coverage on:

IFMA Instagram (See the Stories for athlete interviews!)   IFMA Twitter   and of course live action on the IFMA Youtube Channel.