In Ukraine a medical campaign tackling HIV has harnessed the knock-out power of top athletes to raise awareness of health and choices. Muaythai champion Viktoria Ivanets is taking on the challenge with her usual determination.
Viktoria Ivanets is one of the most successful athletes to come out of Ukraine’s focus on developing women’s muaythai in recent years. The Ukraine Muaythai Federation under President Gennady Trukanhov, and national coach Pavel Yevtushenko encourages women and girls to compete from youth level all the way to The World Games.
A multiple-time national champion at youth level, Viktoria won gold at the IFMA Youth World Championships in 2016. Last year she made the jump to the next level, representing Ukraine at the World Championships, and even at The World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. In July this year Viktoria won a silver medal at the European Championships held in Prague competing against older and more experienced rivals.
So why did she get involved in this HIV-awareness campaign? Viktoria says: “It’s called Knock-Out HIV. Athletes from the national teams were involved as a social project. The idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle, and urge people to monitor their health.”
The poster (above top) is replicated for all the athletes involved, and large billboards have been hung in all Ukrainian cities. The campaign is also running online.
The posters also promote ways for people to get tested if they are at risk of HIV – tragically rates of the disease have sharply risen in recent times. Each poster carries a link to where help is available.
Viktoria’s profile has also risen lately thanks to her successful participation in the national contest “Miss Divine”. This is a beauty contest with a twist, as judges are looking for spiritual and friendship values as well as outer beauty.
Viktoria reached the finals, taking the second place and the title of Miss Popularity.
Learn more about the Ukraine Muaythai Federation here