President of SportAccord & Honorary IOC Member (2012)
SportAccord is delighted to have Muaythai, through the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA), as a member of the global sporting community. Since its inclusion in the SportAccord family, Muaythai has made tremendous progress in its promotion and practice across the entire globe.
Muaythai’s participation in the SportAccord World Combat Games 2010 in Beijing, further increased the sport’s popularity and clearly demonstrated Muaythai’s significance as a cultural art-form as well as a competition sport. I am, therefore, excited and looking forward to Muaythai’s participation in the 2013 SportAccord Combat Games.
I was honoured in 2006 to have been granted a private audience with HRH the Crown Prince of Thailand at which HRH thanked SportAccord for the inclusion of Muaythai.
Tonight, I am honoured again to be part of this historical event in which HM the King of Thailand has graciously donated the trophy for the winner of the Super 4 tournament and I would like to wish all of the four athletes the best of luck.
I would like to personally congratulate IFMA for all the successful work they have been tirelessly dedicated to in order to bring the sport to the highest level. They are doing brilliant work – not only with organising many high quality events and championships, but also in giving back to the community with charitable programs such as ‘Muaythai Against Drugs’ and, the new initiative, ‘Sport Is Your Gang’. It is inspirational to witness the transformation that Muaythai, and indeed sport in general, can make in the lives of those in need of positive development.
This year is without a doubt one of the most significant years in Muaythai’s history. I am delighted to be part of this event in Bangkok –the birthplace of Muaythai – to mark the occasion of the official submission of Muaythai’s IOC and World Games applications. I extend my best wishes and support to IFMA and the sport of Muaythai. I look forward to a great future for Muaythai within the Olympic family.
Message from Hein Verbruggen (2010)
President of SportAccord & Honorary IOC Member
SportAccord is delighted to have Muaythai as a Member, led by the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA). Throughout this past year, Muaythai has made big steps towards its globalisation and has increased its popularity by participating for the first time in the SportAccord World Combat Games held in Beijing. 13 SportAccord Member combat sport federations took part in this event.
The last Muaythai World Championships were organized as the qualifying event to these Games and resulted in a huge success and the highest level of competition. I expect nothing less from these upcoming 2010 World Championships.
This year, Muaythai is taking its biggest event back to its roots in Thailand where the sport was popular already a thousand years ago. It has germinated from what used to be an exclusive hand-to-hand fighting technique used by Thai military and Kings, to having followers all around the globe. Today, Bangkok, the birthplace of Muaythai, is surely one of the most interesting places to visit in South East Asia.
The world’s best athletes from about 100 countries will get together and make these World Championships an exciting and high-quality competition. They will show the world not only the great fascination of Muaythai but also the inherent traditions, culture and moral values.
Finally, I would like to send my personal congratulations for the successful work IFMA has been putting into organising major events all around the world, such as these World Championships.
We look forward to keep working closely with IFMA and on behalf of all SportAccord Members, I wish His Majesty the King of Thailand a good healthy and happy birthday.
2009 Message from Hein Verbruggen
On behalf of SportAccord and our 104 Members, I would like to convey my greetings and best wishes to all participants of the IFMA muaythai world championships held in Bangkok, as part of HM the King of Thailand’s 82nd birthday celebrations.
Thailand is a country with a proud history and Muaythai is a very important part of this history. Muaythai is a very unique and ancient Martial Art, which combines culture, tradition, values beauty and strength.
Sportaccord is delighted to have muaythai under the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur as its member. 2010 will undoubtedly be another milestone in the history of Muaythai with its inclusion in the SportAccord Combat games in Beijing, in which the 13 SportAccord recognised combat sports will be sending there elite athletes. This year’s IFMA world championships will be an official qualifier for the games and will therefore be of the highest standard.
I had the honour of having a private audience with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Thailand when the Kingdom received the news that Muaythai had been recognised by GAISF/Sportaccord. I had promised His Royal Highness to keep on working to assist in getting Muaythai to the highest sporting level, so the 2010 SportAccord Combat games are part of this promise.
I was privileged to preside over the closing ceremony of the 2007 IFMA World Championships in honour of His Majesty’s 80th Birthday and we all took home so many memories of the beautiful background of Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun and over 100,000 spectators.
I must congratulate the IFMA organisers again and as the President of SportAccord and on behalf of the 86 SportAccord member sport federations, I wish His Majesty the best of health and a happy birthday on this special occasion.
2008 Message from Hein Verbruggen
President of GAISF & IOC Member
Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
GAISF is delighted to have Muaythai, under the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) as one of our members.
Muaythai is a unique martial art. Its culture, traditions, strength and beauty have set it apart. Muaythai has brought both culture and spectator appeal to the sporting movement which are important aspects.
I had the honour of being granted a private audience with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Thailand when the Kingdom received the news that Muaythai had been recognized by GAISF. In addition, I was privileged to preside over the closing ceremony of the IFMA World Championships, which were held in December 2007 to honour His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 80th Birthday Celebrations. The event was attended by 100 member countries and the spectators were at an astonishing number of over 100,000.
On behalf of GAISF, I would like to extend my best wishes for success, in a spirit of fair play and friendship, to all the athletes participating in the Muaythai competitions included in the TAFISA World Sport for All Games.