The afternoon session of IFMA’s Sport Integrity Conference saw a full house in the conference hall of the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel. Everyone was excited for the launch of the SportAccord e-learning resource, the World Combat Games RealPlayer, eager for a taste of the same programme that WCG athletes will soon be completing online all over the world.
The afternoon began with an introduction to Muaythai in the WCG by IFMA General Secretary Stephan Fox. He explained the pillars of Muaythai, respect, honour, tradition, excellence and fair play, and the cultural and sporting significance which Muaythai has to offer its 14 other fellow combat sport partners.
Wrapping up his presentation with a look back at the spectacular first edition of the WCG in Beijing, 2010, he gave the floor to one of IFMA’s VIP guests that day, General Yuthasak Sasiprapha, President of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand. General Sasiprapha said that it was an honour for Thailand to be able to host the conference and congratulated IFMA on taking the initiative in raising awareness and educating its members about illegal sports betting and match-fixing. He officially opened the ceremony to applause.
Ms Samara Yawnghwe, Chair of IFMA’s Social Responsibility Unit, introduced the WCG RealPlayer. She explained that it was the result of cooperation between SportAccord and the 15 World Combat Games sports, who mutually agreed to use the expertise which SportAccord has on these topics to educate all of the WCG IF stakeholders. Using its existing educational platform, SportAccord worked with the WCG IFs to develop a learning tool tailor-made for WCG athletes. It is the first time that an e-learning programme is mandatory to ensure athlete eligibility to compete in a SportAccord event, so the 15 WCG International Sport Federations are pioneers with SportAccord.
Ms Yawnghwe described the three step registration process which athletes and all users must go through before beginning the programme. She then introduced the basic functionality of the programme, and played the programme’s introductory video clip, which introduces the issues of match-fixing and illegal sports betting in an attention-grabbing way. After explaining the programme’s functionality and going through the 4 point Code of Conduct with the audience, she finished her presentation with two test questions from the programme quiz. The audience chose correctly, and was then showed the SportAccord certificate of completion which all users will receive electronically when they have completed the programme. The official launch date for athletes to begin will be September 20th.
Mr. Sergey Soloveychik, another of IFMA’s VIP guests that day, took the stage to conclude the afternoon’s events. As Chairman of the SportAccord World Combat Games, and with his background in the International Judo Federation, Mr. Soloveychik was an admirable ambassador for the WCG. His knowledge and enthusiasm inspired the audience, and when he said he looked forward to welcoming all athletes and participants in St. Petersburg from October 18th-26th, there were many in the audience wishing they could attend the World Combat Games!
In closing, the MC asked all VIPs to come forward. General Sasiprapha, Mr. Soloveychik, and Dr. Tapsuwan took center stage, with their hands on the launch globe, and confetti rained down, as the logo of the World Combat Games appeared and the hall broke into applause. It was a fantastic afternoon, and there is no doubt that anticipation for the World Combat Games next month is very high.