Seven of IFMA’s Pan-American federations held a meeting during the World Championships this week to discuss development of muaythai in the region.
The productive session was attended by the US, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Peru and Argentina.
Muaythai has grown hugely in this area in the last few years. In December 2016 Peru hosted the Pan-American Muaythai Championships which doubled as a qualifier for The World Games 2017.
Next year Mexico will host the IFMA World Championships, the first time the Championships will be held in the Americas.
Marcy Maxwell from the United States Muaythai Federation said: ‘We discussed topics like the growth of federations and expansion of important social programs like Sport is Your Gang. We feel this project has the potential for inspiring positive self-development of at-risk youth in our communities.’
Elise Salinas, President of Pan Amercian Muaythai Federation and IFMA Vice President said they are working on expanding their projects and increasing the reach of their work. She said muaythai has a sport which teaches discipline and focus has a key role to play in expanding opportunities for children in disadvantaged areas.
Rodrigo Joquera, head of the Peruvian Muaythai Federation already runs ‘Taller de muaythai’ or muaythai workshops in Lima. The Pan-American Federation is hoping to expand on these and existing projects in Mexico over the coming months.
Ms Salinas said they hope to set up sister programmes in Los Angeles very soon, as there is clearly a need for more support and structure for children in some parts of the city.