On a crisp January afternoon, the Champalimaud Foundation Auditorium was abuzz with the vibrant energy of Portugal’s most esteemed kickboxing and Muaythai figures. The 35th Gala of the Portuguese Kickboxing and Muaythai Federation (FPKM) ceremoniously unfolded to recognize the stellar achievements of those who have dedicated their lives to the sport. It was a gathering marked by the spirit of camaraderie and accomplishments of the past year.
FPKM President Nuno Margaca, together with Vice President Ana Vital Melo, kicked off the event with heartfelt speeches welcoming athletes, coaches, and other luminaries who had each played a pivotal role in the advancement of their disciplines. The applause was thunderous as athletes of the year, Gonçalo Noites and Matilde Rodrigues, ascended the stage to receive their Silver Medals – a testament to their skill and hard work at the European Games in Krakow.
Dr José Manuel Araújo, the General Secretary of the Portuguese Olympic Committee, graced the award ceremony, honoring the night’s luminaries with distinguished elegance. The appreciation poured forth was palpable as Júlia Antunes, head of the National Arbitration Council, presented the National Referees of 2023 with their much-deserved accolades.
Amidst the celebrations, a special moment unfolded as Dr Tiago Barros, the trusted National Team Doctor, was acknowledged for his tireless contributions. Dr Erdogan Aydin, Chair of the IFMA Medical Commission, presented the award, encapsulating the gratitude felt by all.
The event was attended and supported by many VIPs and dignitaries lending their support for the FPKM such as H.E. Krongkanit Rakcharoen, Ambassador of Thailand to Portugal, Dr Telmo Correia, Former Minister of Tourism and former Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Dr João Paulo Rebelo, while a special video message was conveyed by Secretary of State for Youth and Sports Dr. Paulo Correia.
Yet, the 35th Gala was not simply an occasion to celebrate past triumphs but also a platform for growth and education. In the days following the event, Dr Erdogan, the IFMA Technical Delegate, alongside Charissa Tynan, the IFMA Director General, spearheaded a series of enriching seminars. These sessions covered a gamut of topics, from insights into the IFMA’s storied history and its journey within the Olympic movement to current rules, regulations, scoring, and technical intricacies vital for enhancing the expertise of FPKM’s referees and coaches.
The 35th Gala of the FPKM was not only a commemoration but also a commitment to the enduring spirit of martial arts in Portugal, fostering a future where tradition and excellence continue to thrive under the banner of IFMA.