Every year athlete and sports fans around the world come together to celebrate Olympic Day – a day to mark the ways sport can build a better world.
Olympic Day recognises the contribution sport makes to the world, and celebrating how people can learn, move and be united by sport.
Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan IFMA president said the Olympic spirit means a philosophy for athletes in that it shapes how they see the world, but also that athletes are role-models and can bring other people together in sport.
General Secretary Stephan Fox said this belief is central to how IFMA and our muaythai federations operate with mutual respect and friendship key pillars for our sport. IFMA received IOC provisional recognition in December 2016, a sign of closely the spirit of muaythai aligns with the Olympic beliefs.
He said a new initiative launched in April during the SportAccord convention in Bangkok – United Through Sport – exemplifies this. Led by Julia Govinden from Sport Ability Global this programme offers opportunity to disadvantaged children.
This spirit of change and bridging communities through sport which is central to Olympic Day is also visible in the Sport Is Your Gang projects run by many muaythai federations. These projects bring teachers and trainers together with children in poverty-stricken areas to show them an alternative to gang culture.
And around the globe muaythai federations joined in with events for this exciting day as part of a month-long celebration.
In Thailand IFMA headquarters staff joined the Olympic Day Walk and Run 2019 in Bangkok on Sunday. And on Saturday a giant Sport Is Your Gang event was held with children from all over Bangkok; learning muaythai together.
Belarus, a country which regularly produces muaythai world champions, saw children of all ages taking part in an outdoor muaythai celebration in Minsk.
In Prague – host of the European Championships next week – muaythai athletes took part in the Olympic Day Run. They shared the excitement of movement and sport with the Olympic sports federations and Leo the mascot for the Championships.
A beautiful ceremony was held in Kabul, Afghanistan to mark Olympic Day by the Afghan Muaythai Federation. Federation president Mr Hossani welcomed young athletes and new students into the city’s gym, introducing them to muaythai. Girls were especially welcomed.
The Federacion Espanola de Kickboxing Muaythai in Spain ran an online campaign promoting girls and women in muaythai, using athletes as role-models to inspire for Olympic Day.
The Begian federation BKBMO joined in with the fun dance challenge issued by The Olympic Channel with Adelisa Kucevic doing a ‘flossing’ dance on receiving a medal.
In Peru free muaythai classes were given in Lima, for teenage mothers with refreshments and childcare provided so the young mums could enjoy free muaythai classes. The classes were given by young athletes on the Peruvian national team, and in parternship with Sport Is Your Gang Peru.
In Iran muaythai champion Masomeh Tajik held free classes for young people, outdoors in the beautiful mountains near her hometown.