Argentina plays host to a special event this month when a tournament for female referees and athletes takes place in Buenos Aires.
Under the banner of Muaythai Argentina, and the Comisión Femenina de Muaythai de Argentina organisers are planning a full day of sport with all levels welcome for their first event. So far they expect to have up to 20 bouts, and registration for the referee course is almost full.
Romina Arana said they are translating the IFMA Rules and Regulations into Spanish to encourage more women to take up the sport. She was inspired by the close partnership between IFMA and UN-Women with the UNiTE campaign.
She said: ‘It’s important to show everyone there can be a place for them in muaythai. We want to show women that muaythai is not just about fighting, not just about competition. They can promote events, be referees, organisers, coaches and so many other jobs which are needed to run an event properly.’
Bouts are divided into A and B-class under the usual IFMA rules. But there is also a smaller section for C-class athletes meaning women who have very little experience but wish to improve.
Romina is particularly excited about the referee course, as it’s so vital for muaythai to have the best officials in charge and judging bouts. She attended an international IFMA course run in Peru last year.
Romina said: ‘When I think of the future, my dream is to have the Argentinian flag flying on the podium at an IFMA world championships , to have the gold medal. I know that will not happen unless we begin at the roots of the sport.
‘We need to encourage women to unite with the sport, to get behind the same goals as the men. I feel this is my job, to prepare the road for the fighters who will come after me. ‘
Athletes will not be named on the posters advertising the event as the organisers want this event to feel special for everyone, even those without a lot of experience. She said: ‘Everyone who loves muaythai should feel she has a place in our sport.’