The Singapore Muaythai Inter-Varsity Invitational 2016 was jointly organised by the Singapore Management University (SMU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) Muaythai Clubs, and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) under the sanctioning of the Amateur Muaythai association of Singapore and IFMA . The organizing committee comprised Aleem Siddiq, Hans Kong, and Rizvan Jacob from NTU, Ariel Chen, Natasha Mastik, and Sia Ching Sian from NUS, and Jervin Mao and Genevieve Tan from SMU. Though there were many challenges faced in organizing the event, the cooperation made it possible.
Only open to fighters from local tertiary institutions, the invitational was organised with the aim of providing young fighters with experience in the ring and to get Singapore ready to have a strong team for the FISU Muaythai world championship 2018 held in Thailand.
“Most fights in Singapore are open to fighters from all gyms, and fighters are categorised into novice and amateur levels. This can be a daunting field for students entering a competition for the first time, and we wanted to provide these students with a less intimidating environment to have their first fight”, said Mr. Aleem Siddiq, a member of the organising committee. Invitations to fight were extended to all organising universities, the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), and several polytechnics, namely Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), Singapore Polytechnic (SP), and Republic Polytechnic (RP). All the fighters, aged 19 to 25, had not fought in any organised fights prior to this.
The President of the Amateur Muaythai Association of Singapore (AMAS), Mervyn Tan, was present as the honoured guest and stated that Singapore may be a small country but sport of all kind is important and Singapore has been present at every Muaythai World Championship for 10 consecutive years.
At the closing of the event, the President of AMAS, Ajarhn Mervyn Tan, presented two fighters, Grace Wong and Yeong Tah Jian, both from NUS, with certificates recognizing them as the most promising female and male fighters of the day. Yeong Tah Jian, who is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering in NUS, says that he enjoys the high level of mutual respect during training, and how Muaythai helps him to manage his emotions. Mr. Mervyn Tan noted that there are many upcoming opportunities for students looking to compete in similar environments, such as the International University Sports Federation (FISU) University World Cup in 2017, and that local events such as this invitational would serve as a good way for young fighters to gain experience in the ring before the big world championship in 2018.
The event also served to bring the young Muaythai community in Singapore together, setting the stage for closer collaborations among the tertiary education institutes, many of which have Muaythai clubs due to an increasing interest in the art. As a sport and art that is just gaining traction in Singapore, this collaboration would help the many new varsity clubs in gaining support from their respective schools, which would then give Muaythai more reach. The organizing committee intends to make this an annual event, with the hope that it would contribute to strengthening the Muaythai community in Singapore, both among schools and in the general public.
The organising committee would like to express their sincere gratitude towards AMAS, especially Mervyn Tan and Mr. Darren de Silva for their advice and support over the course of organizing this event. The organizing committee also has D’Gym and Muay Art Fitness to thank for their logistical support in the event. Last but not least, many thanks to WealthPro Advisory and the various other sponsors for making the Muaythai Inter-Varsity Invitational 2016.