H.E. Mrs. Sukumol Kunplome
Minister of Culture
The traditional roots of Muaythai date back over a thousand years when the warriors of Siam used a superior martial art to form an independent country in what is now the modern – day Thailand, the land of the free. Muaythai is more than just a sport. Thai people are very proud of Muaythai as it reflects a very unique and ancient art while combining with culture, tradition, values, beauty and strength. What makes us even more proud is the fact that Muaythai truly has become an international sport and cultural art form, and by reaching every part of the globe, a thousand years of Thai history and our great pride have traveled with it. Through Muaythai, the world has learned about our Kingdom and Thailand has shown its distinct sport and art form to the world arena.
The year 2006 was a historical period of time for Muaythai with its inclusion in SportAccord and we are delighted that the President of SportAccord attends this event tonight. Today is another historical date for Muaythai as we support the World Muaythai Council and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur, and we are delighted to learn that they are committed to bring Muaythai to the highest sporting level, which is IOC recognition and the inclusion in the World Games.
I also personally would like to congratulate the initiative of WMC and IFMA in launching the “Sport Is Your Gang” campaign in order to inspire the younger generations to focus their efforts on positive self-development through sport by learning the lesson from Muaythai champions.
Tonight we will also see four outstanding Muaythai champions competing for the trophy graciously conferred by His Majesty the King, and wish them all the very best of luck. On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, it is my honour to welcome you all to this event and I wish you every success.