This year’s IFMA Youth World Conference was attended by a special guest, the president of the Association of Recognised International Sports Associations (ARISF) Mr Raffaele Chiulli.
Muaythai was recognized by the IOC in December 2016, and now is a member of ARISF which is one of the five umbrella bodies recognized by the IOC. This meant for the first time the ARISF flag was carried into the IFMA Youth Conference.
Youth from five continents proudly marched in the flag parade, and two of them carrying the ARISF flag to the strains of the ‘We are Muaythai’ song.
President Chiulli congratulated IFMA on their IOC recognition. He also congratulated IFMA and the Youth Commission on their outstanding youth development work in combining sport and education; the foundation-stone of the Olympic ideals.
He also stated he is very impressed with this championship, not just the competition but equally the education programmes, and the cultural square.
He congratulated the IFMA family, and said that he feels proud to have IFMA in the ARISF family.
President Chiulli also attended the stadium during the tournament, watching the bouts and meeting some of the youth athletes.
On the final night he attended the IFMA Youth Gala to see which athletes won awards for their behavior in and out of the ring showing sportsmanship and friendship.