Amateur muaythai is on the move in North America with national championships taking place in Canada and America shortly.
Canada is up first with nationals on Saturday and Sunday this week organised by Muaythai Canada. Champions from this tournament represent Canada on the world stage, heading first to the Pan-Americans in Peru next month, and then to the IFMA World and Junior World Tournaments.
They will also be in with a chance of qualifying for the 2017 World Games to be held in Poland next summer via the event in Peru.
Just over 200 athletes entered, setting a new record for amateur competition in Canada. The action is planned for two rings, with over 100 bouts for juniors and seniors during the weekend.
In line with IFMA practice athletes competing on both days will weigh-in and have medical checks each morning to ensure safety for all concerned. Corner-men and coaches must be registered with Muaythai Canada to ensure the highest standards outside as well as inside the rings.
Michael Reid from Muaythai Canada said: ‘Proceeds from the event will be reinvested back in to the National Team to assist with the travel, training, and accommodation expenses that put international competition out of reach for many. We are committed to the development of the sport and investing in the community.’
And in America, the United States Muaythai Federation is planning their next national event for June 2017. As well as athletes competing for places on the USA team, they will be running an IFMA referee and judge certification course.
Referees completing this course are eligible to take charge at domestic US events, but also larger tournaments like the IFMA World Championships. This networking at international events is vital for the vibrancy of our sport, and ensures standards are the same everywhere.
Visit the USMF Facebook for a video about this event.
American amateur muaythai is developing rapidly, with the USA sending their first full Youth Team to the IFMA Youth Championships this year. USMF also sent a team to the World Championships in Sweden earlier this year.
America hosts the 2021 The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Many of the younger athletes will represent their country on the world stage then with the same expertise.
The current USA senior team is preparing for the Pan-Americans, and like Canada they are hoping to qualify athletes for the 2017 World Games.