Over 1,000 athletes and support people registered today at the IFMA Youth World Championships, with many teams swollen by proud parents travelling to support their kids.
From early morning the teams arrived at the event hotel, checking in and then picking up their event accreditation. It was lovely to see the smiles on the young athletes’ faces when they held the card and realized, yes this is it – they were now officially Championships athletes.
Of course that chilled-out feeling didn’t last long with the medical check-ups and weigh-ins starting this afternoon.
There were a lot of people to get through, but the doctors were struck by their discipline and good humour as the athletes lined up for their checks. Everyone had their paperwork with them, and made it through to the start of the competition.
The weigh-in can seem daunting for new athletes but with lots of support from their own teams and the IFMA staff, the kids were able to overcome any obstacles.
As well as sports coaches and manager, it was heartening to see so many mothers and fathers making the trip to Thailand. They stood back as the weigh-ins took place, with some looking even more anxious than their off-spring!
What an exciting thing to do as a family – supporting your kid as they discover the resilience and discipline which results from competing in Muaythai. It’s always an eye-opener when young kids travel to these international events and realise just how strong a network they are now part of. Truly One Muaythai Family on display today.
And tomorrow it is onto the Opening Ceremony in the early evening– each team will march proudly behind their national flags into the arena. Ambassadors from embassies around Bangkok have already confirmed their attendance, no doubt excited to see such young athletes from their own countries.
These young kids will be at the centre of the ceremony, which will be presided over by Her Excellency the Minister for Sport and Tourism Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. Other high-ranking government officials will also attend, as well as dignitaries from the world of sport in Thailand.