The 3rd Balkan Open Kids Muaythai Championships was held in cooperation with Esenler Municipality.  Turkey was pleased to host the championships and to welcome countries like Azerbaijan, Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Denmark and Belgium. Over two hundred athletes, trainers, team leaders, officials and participants took part in the opening ceremony.

At the opening ceremony, Nazım Madenoglu, District Governor of Esenler gave a speech stating: “Welcome to our country, we are proud to be hosting this Championship in our city” and wished every success and luck for the youth athletes.

The Mayor of Esenler, M.Tevfik Goksu said in his speech “Regardless of what sport it is, sport gives our lives discipline and helps make us successful.  We would like to encourage sport facilities for youth.”

The Vice President of the Turkish Muaythai Federation, Halil Durna, recounted the history of Muaythai and the national federation in Turkey. He thanked everyone for their support and cooperation, and stated that Turkey would soon be undertaking a huge project in cooperation with IFMA, the Muaythai World Kids & Juniors Championship from the 13th-17th March, 2013.

After the speeches, the VIPs handed out gifts to welcome all the participating countries, and as a gong was struck, competition began.

This fun and friendly three day event was a great success and chance for Muaythai’s youth to travel and share in cultural exchange with one another. Friendships were made and fun in sport was celebrated.

Some of the outstanding youth competitors came from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey. All the youth participants are encouraged to keep practising and enjoying Muaythai for a healthy lifestyle.