Muaythai is a combat sport and martial art built on ancient traditions and on the foundation of respect.
In 2010, IFMA established the Sport is your Gang initiative which was awarded the Spirit of Sport award by the world recognised sport family in 2015.
Sport is your Gang seeks to generate a culture of respect and exert human rights through sport without it being in itself another replicator of violence.
One of the many initiatives is how muaythai in prison could stop people from reoffending.
We all understand reoffending is one of the biggest challenges any society faces. This is why IFMA offers prison services around the world as we believe the impact of muaythai can be far reaching and above all improves health. Through the deep roots of respect and also behaviour, we believe strongly that muaythai plays an important role in acting social change as there are countless anecdotes around the world of how muaythai has changed people’s lives.
IFMA believes in the values of Olympism. Instilling positive values and muaythai training as part of rehabilitation is more than just being part of a martial art, it provides life skills together with qualified instructors and prison personnel with the overall aim of building their resilience to crime, violence and drug use.
One of the examples where muaythai is implemented in the prison system is at Nonthaburi Province Prison which has over 2,900 prisoners. Muaythai superstars like Diesel Noi, Pud Pad Noi and many others are teaching and demonstrating that there is a different life out there. Special events take place with special incentives and one took place recently.
Director Preethida Somchit, stated that she will continue to work closely to also engage in other possibilities especially with virtual training and events. ‘Hero’ which is sponsoring this series stated, through this initiative we provide hope, a healthy lifestyle and with the values of muaythai the practitioners understand respect for one another and life is key. The manager of the national sport development fund Khun Supranee Guptasa stated that it is important for any government to invest in rehabilitation and society must forgive and provide new chances.
President of AIMS and United Through Sports Stephan Fox who was one of the founding members of the Sport is your Gang initiative stated, we all understand the difficulties of rehabilitation where inmates are kept away and live in a society with people where crime is very much a way of life but the statistics show that inmates which participate in these special programmes have a much lower number of reoffending after their release from prison.
We must thank Nonthaburi Province Prison, Hero Promotions and NSDF for this initiative and we are looking forward to a continued cooperation.