I am pleased to have been once more invited to include a message in the souvenir programme of IFMA World Muaythai Championships.
It is interesting to see the remarkable development of amateur muaythai and the engagement of its international governing body, IFMA, in increasing the sport participation throughout the world. From a traditional Thai self defence method, it appears from its recognition by Sport Accord, the OCA and its inclusion in the recent Combat Games in Beijing, that this martial art is becoming more and more a global and accessible physical activity to all human beings.
Muaythai unites mind, body and soul, aiming at promoting culture, education, health and well-being through sport. In addition, it is a sport for all, regardless of sex, age or social origin.
I would like to welcome and extend my best wishes to all participants and guests of the 17th IFMA World Muaythai Championships, and would like to take this opportunity to wish His Majesty the King a joyous 83rd birthday celebration.
Message from Phillip Walter Coles, A.M.
Member of Sport for All Commission, IOC
Muaythai has achieved a surge of popularity within the last decade. The numbers of practitioners both male and female are ever increasing, as men and women elect to practice the sport be it for competition or simply for health and fitness.
With its inclusion under IFMA in the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), an association recognized by the International Olympic Committee, muaythai has found a rightful place in the world of sport.
Evident in the astounding 120 member countries that belong to IFMA, the sport of muaythai is clearly a sport for all. That is why the TAFISA World Sport for All Games is the perfect platform on which to hold the IFMA World Championships. It is a great honor for IFMA to be given the unique opportunity to be one of the main sports in the official program of a multi-sport games that are under patronage of the IOC.
I am also delighted that muaythai under IFMA will also be participating in the 10th Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia next year. Once again, all participants will have the chance to foster friendship, goodwill and cultural understanding at these Games.
I wish to congratulate IFMA for achieving marvelous milestone of inclusion in these Games and wish all the fighters great success in the competition.