The youth are our future in life and in sport. Youth development is one of the most important foundations of IFMA. At this year’s IFMA World Championships, an important youth forum took place, chaired by his Excellency Dr. Vellapandian,Youth and Sports minister from Malaysia, and with presentations by important guest speakers from the UN, SportAccord, World Games Association and IFMA.


Muaythai has recently signed an important MOU, working in partnership with the UN to end violence against women. Anna-Karin Jatfors, Regional Director for UN Women gave a presentation on the importance of educating the youth on these issues, to help bring equality and to end injustices made globally towards women.


Kristof Sucz from SportAccord spoke about sport integrity. An expert on online and offline gambling he spoke on the importance of development of education and standardization within sport to avoid sports integrity problems.


Dr. Vellapandian spoke on the importance of cooperation between governments and National Federations within sport and the impact that sport can have on society. He spoke to the audience about how outreach programs and education can develop and direct the development of our youth.


Caroline Aebersold, Chairwoman of IFMA integrity and Ethics Commission spoke about the importance of sport ethics and integrity and how deeply they are integrated in the IFMA program.


Hagen Bosdof, representing the World Games Association congratulated IFMA and Muaythai in their inclusion of the 2017 World Games and also made a presentation on how the World Games integrates youth work within the games.


His Excellency Khairy Jamaluddin from Malaysia made an emotional speech on martial arts, with an emphasis on Muaythai, congratulating them on their Spirit of Sport Award. He also said that the foundations of Muaythai – honour, respect, tradition fair play, and excellence are not just the foundations of sport but also the foundations of everyday life.