A word from the President of the Iranian Muaythai Association
and Vice-President of the Federation of Amateur Muaythai of Asia (FAMA)
MTE: President Mastanabad, thank you for making yourself available. How are the preparations coming along for the 2011 Asian Championship?
President: The Iranian Muaythai Association is very proud to host this prestigious event. We have worked very hard and achieved all the milestones in the buildup to the games.
MTE: Why are the Games to be held on Kish Island instead of the capital?
President: Yes we have discussed this with the relevant ministries. Our Asian friends will be able to come and enjoy our beautiful country, to be able to relax whilst enjoying a great training environment. Kish is steeped in history and has held a position of cultural importance within Iranian history. Therefore we believe that Kish Island is the perfect place to hold the Games.
MTE: Can you comment on Iran becoming one of the powerhouses of Muaythai in Asia?
President: Muaythai is a popular sport in Iran. We have over 200,000 practitioners and have developed this martial art in Iran up from the grassroots. We have a structured youth development program and now have full permission for the female development program for which I must voice my deepest gratitude.
MTE: Iran is a country overflowing with culture and you will include a cultural program. Can you tell us a about this?
President: It is important that we all draw together, not just to compete but also to exchange cultures. We are planning a cultural night to incorporate all the different facets of Sport in Iran is a platform through which Iranians can represent their country through sporting excellence and this will be reflected in the upcoming Asian Championships. We hope to show how a country with a history steeped in sport can host such an important event.
MTE: What else do you have planned for 2011?
President: After the Asian championships we will send a full team to the Arafura games in Australia while preparing for the upcoming World Championships. We are organising a friendship-gala for representatives from 70 countries in cooperation with the WMC and IFMA and a tournament for the Muaythai Against Drugs program so our schedule will be full for the rest of the year. Another goal is to send representatives to the next SportAccord Combat Games. We have started preparations and the event will be one of the highlights of our calendar.
MTE: Thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you on Kish for the Asian Championships.