The SportAccord Media Workshop took place this week from September 5th-7th, to promote cooperation and brainstorming amongst the 15 SportAccord combat sports, for the success of the 2013 World Combat Games next year in October. As IFMA’s 2012 Muaythai World Championships are the test event for next year’s World Combat Games, IFMA had the honour of having SportAccord and our brother and sister combat sports all present in Saint Petersburg during the World Championships.

On the first day, Nikolay Rastvortsev, First Deputy Chairman of the Comittee of Physical Culture and Sport (Government of Saint Petersburg), opened the workshop with a warm welcoming address. Mr. Vincent Gaillard. SportAccord’s General Secretary gave a strong presentation about how to raise awareness for the 2013 World Combat Games.

He discussed how the 15 combat sports can use the influence of their national federations. Also important was the positive way in which the martial arts can be adapted to help face social issues. Mr. Pavel Zhuraleve, CEO of the Russian Union of Martial Arts, gave the closing address. Then all delegates were invited to a specially organized welcome dinner at the humours and picturesque “Russian Kitsch Restaurant”.

On the second day, Mrs. Nathalie Smeeman, SportAccord Marketing & Communications Manager presented and facilitated discussion about promotional ideas for the 2013 World Combat Games. IFMA General Secretary Mr. Stephan Fox gave a presentation about how budget does not have to be a barrier to using media to promote the combat sports. After lunch, there were presentations on broadcasting and communications by IEC in Sports, Russian State TV and Radio (VGTRK Russia), the Russian Union of Martial Arts (RUMA) and SportsExpress. After the day’s presentations wrapped up, all delegates from the Media Workshop attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Muaythai World Championships.

The final day of the workshop involved a visit to all the venues which will be in use in the World Combat Games, a last chance for the delegates to share ideas together and do a bit of sightseeing in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

A big thank you to SportAccord and RUMA for this helpful and inspiring media workshop. We’re looking forward to 2013!