In its second year, the IFMA World Virtual Championships promises to introduce more innovative and exciting events that will showcase the skills of athletes, technical officials, and coaches.
These three events are Mai Muay, pad works, and shadow referee. A youth ambassador category is also added in its commitment to showing cultural diversity and sport as a uniting tool among the Muaythai community.
There were over 30,000 participants in last year’s virtual event. It is expected to double as national federations are ramping up their local campaigns to match IFMA’s initiative this year. “When you see your IF working hard to give the best experience and continue to keep connecting the athletes through the virtual platform despite the restrictions, you use that to motivate you. They show us that life goes on. Sport does not need to stop,” lamented Coach Billy Alumno, national head coach of the Philippine team, who is targeting 600 participants in their nationals.
The virtual championship is not the only thing that keeps IFMA headquarters busy. Among the numerous projects under #IFMAconnects, they hold regular webinars to educate athletes on doping, nutrition, holistic health, and well-being. Khan and technical courses are also ongoing simultaneously in different countries. One of the most engaging initiatives is Mongkon Academy’s online classes that bring together Muaythai practitioners from all over. Janice Lyn, the chairperson of the Athlete’s Commission, heads the team with the legendary Kru Petch in the weekly classes that teach Muaythai techniques, powerful combos, and drills. And the best part? It’s free.
The global pandemic might have halted face-to-face interactions. Still, in the Muaythai community, we stay and feel connected as ever. Thank you, IFMA, for being the virtual game changer!