This year’s IFMA Youth World Championships is set to be bigger than ever with 68 teams registered so far for this celebration of young athletes.
The national amateur muaythai teams travel to Bangkok, Thailand at the start of August. For many this is their first time representing their country, and for many this is the start of a journey leading to IFMA Worlds, The World Games and now also one day to The Olympics.
The event is hosted by the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand under patronage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, under the sanctioning of IFMA. It is organised in cooperation with the Royal Thai Government through the Department of Physical Education.
Competing in divisions strictly separated by age and weight, boys and girls from 10 to 17 years of age. As with the adults, the athletes compete to traditional Thai music and wear protective equipment.
And even at this young age, the sport of muaythai is about much more than just competition.
Events scheduled to take place will promote the Olympic ideals of Fair Play, Sportsmanship and Social Responsibility including visits to local schools and awards for friendship.
Many of IFMA member federations promote the Sport Is Your Gang project, and these young athletes have learned that muaythai is a way to build friendships which endures far beyond the ring or a competitive career.
Athletes can also choose to take part in the Youth Wai Kru World Championships and the Youth Muay-Aerobic World Championships.
The festival of youth muaythai takes place in Thailand’s National Stadium in a central location, easily accessible by public transport.