By Ryan McKinnon
The 2017 IFMA Youth World Championship is fast approaching on August 3-11 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event this year will have the largest representation to date, with 68 teams registered as of July 5th. An event like this marks the start of an international Muaythai journey for many young athletes, who may someday go on to represent themselves and their respective countries at the IFMA World Championships, The World Games, and the Olympics. It is certainly a great time for Muaythai in Canada.
Our Junior National team is looking for support in advance of the August tournament. Any financial assistance from within and outside our thriving community would be greatly appreciated by our young team. The hardest part about being an amateur athlete is the financial burden that it places on them. When individual members of our community come to together to make small contributions, our collective impact is large.
Canada’s second ever Junior National Team will be represented by 9 athletes, 5 of which train at Kalsamrit Gym in Bowmanville, Ontario. The school recently returned from Iowa’s Muaythai World Expo, capturing a multiple accolades and the award for Best Junior Team. Riley and Savannah Foden are returning National Team athletes, with the brother and sister duo having both won gold in their respective divisions at the 2016 Youth World Championships. The team will also have its first ever representation from Quebec, as Mathys Gagnon takes his place as the lightest male competitor from Canada. These are just 3 of 9 rising stars within our community that have earned their place among the world’s best young athletes.
The Youth Championships which are open to ages 10-17, aren’t just about showing up and competing in muaythai. There will be events throughout the week to promote the Olympic ideals of Sportsmanship and Social Responsibility through visits to local schools, and awards for youth who demonstrate those characteristics. It is a way to show the youth that being part of a local and international Muaythai community can have lasting friendships that will go on even after they themselves retire from the ring. Two separate Championships will also be available for Youth to compete in, and those are the Youth Muay Boran and Youth Wai Kru World Championships.
Your donation will make a gigantic difference in helping our athletes achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity. When you help subsidize the cost of travel and expenses, our young stars will be able to focus on competing and winning against the world’s best athletes, and bringing gold back to Canadian soil!
Please share the news with friends and people outside our community. There is no greater cause than making a positive difference in the life of a young person. Moments like these are what shape the future leaders of our country. It is through your generosity and assistance that our 2017 Junior National Team has the ability to pursue their dreams.
Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast and website, found at www.thebloodyballet.com. He is a regular blog contributor to www.lannamma.com and www.mississaugaelite.com. You can find him coaching 5 days a week at the Mississauga Elite Training Center.