This past weekend, Muaythai Ontario, a recognized member of Muaythai Canada, the sole national governing body for the art and sport of Muaythai in Canada, held its first provincials after a 2-year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic certainly impacted the Muaythai community worldwide, and in Ontario, the 2022 Provincials was a sigh of relief and a sign of rebirth for Muaythai after such a difficult 2-years of lockdowns and restrictions for the athletes.
Since 1993, Muaythai Canada has been a long-standing recognized member of IFMA, the sole governing body of Muaythai around the world, recognized by the International Olympic Committee and full signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Muaythai Canada has also been an active part of the IFMA Executive Board since 1996.
This past weekend, a whopping 200 athletes were in attendance including athletes of all age groups and divisions for the 2022 Ontario Provincials showcasing that, with the numbers at par with pre-pandemic numbers, the Ontarian athletes are eager and ready to qualify for upcoming IFMA international muaythai and multi-sport events. Proper health and safety measures including weigh-ins and medical checks were conducted and in line with local government regulations.
Muaythai Ontario President, Alin Hălmăgean, stated, “Muaythai Ontario has been working hard over the past months to restart the art and sport of Muaythai. In Canada, Ontario is one of the most active provinces in Canada with over 100 member gyms and clubs. In recent months Ontario has been moving forward aggressively with official seminars to ensure health, safety and fair play are upheld as per IFMA standards and with muaythai events scheduled every week. Having all the athletes returning to the field of play at the 2022 provincials is a celebration of our sport, heritage and culture.”
Muaythai is on the move in North America with The World Games, just over a month ago, taking place across the border in Birmingham, Alabama, The Challenger Muaythai, an Emmy nominated series, which will include many male and female athletes from North America and the list goes on with endless opportunities for athletes in the Pan American region.
Although the pandemic slowed activity in Canada, this did not prevent the athletes from medaling in recent IFMA events including:
The IFMA 2021 World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand
Gold (U23 71kg) – Savannah Foden
The IFMA 2022 World Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Gold (U23 63.5kg) – Riley Foden
Bronze (Elite 67kg) – Savannah Foden
The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Silver (Elite 48kg) – Regan Gowing
Up next for Muaythai Canada will be the the next generation of Canadian nak muay taking part in the 2022 IFMA Youth World Championships in beautiful Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which will be the Muaythai capital of the world from the 9-21st of August.
After the YWC2022, Muaythai Canada is scheduled to host National Championships within the next few months which will qualify Canadian athletes for the 2023 Pan American Muaythai Championships, IFMA 2023 Senior World Championships, the 2023 IFMA Youth World Championships with opportunities to qualify for IOC recognized multi-sport games including The World Combat Games 2023 in the beautiful city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Congratulations to all the medalists and Canadian nak muay who took part last weekend for your perseverance, resilience and heart!