Muay Thai Gala Dinner

12 Dec

by IFMA (2007-12-12)
A special Muaythai Gala Dinner was held in honour of His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 80th birthday celebrations, organized by the WMC, IFMA and AMTAT.
Many high profile sporting personalities from around the world attended the dinner, including the President of GAISF, IOC Members and representatives from all martial arts around the world.
Over 1,000 people attended, with representatives from 102 National Muaythai Federations, what was an unforgettable night for all the audience. The evening included a cultural display with Thai dancing, Thai puppet shows and traditional music performances and a delicious dinner.
The President of GAISF and IOC Member made an emotional speech to the audience, officially welcoming Muaythai into the world sporting community and GAISF, a partner of the IOC.
His Excellency the Minister of Tourism & Sports for Thailand spoke on behalf of the Royal Thai Government and presented plaques to all dignitaries who have performed outstanding work for the development of Muaythai in 2007. Also, the IFMA Humanitarian Award, presented to the Federation which has performed outstanding work on the charity side of the sport as part of the Muaythai Against Drugs campaign, and this year’s award went to the Ukrainian Muaythai Federation for their inspirational work with street children and orphans. IFMA’s policy is that sport can make a difference and this was shown again through the award.
The fact that over 1,000 people from 102 countries, including representatives from all IOC and GAISF recognised martial arts came together for this wonderful event shows that Muaythai is truly a recognised member of the martial arts and sporting worlds. Next year’s Gala Dinner will be held in the beautiful city of Busan, Korea, and undoubtedly will be another great event with Korea as host.

Contender Asia, AXN, True Visions UBC and the World Muaythai Council
Contender Asia has taken the hearts of the audience.

The Contender Asia will follow 16 inspiring Muaythai fighters from around the world through an evolving series of outdoor challenges, while the loser of each challenge has to leave the loft to the airport immediately. The 16 chosen fighters will train and live together throughout the series.

The fighters will win the hearts of the audience as they talk about their love for Muaythai and their dream to become the ultimate Muaythai Champion, under the Contender Asia slogan of “Respect All – Fear none”.

The series is comprised of the quarter finals which will take 4 weeks to complete, then follow the semi final and the grand final. Total prize pool is USD $250,000 and the winner will also receive the ultimate Contender Champion belt, sanctioned by the WMC.
After the Grand Opening and Press Conference in Singapore, next was Thailand, the motherland of the sport, to turn on the heat. After four weeks into the series, the ratings have been outstanding. This will, undoubtedly, take the sport to a new dimension.
His Excellency General Pichitr Kullavanijaya expressed his gratitude to the producers of the Contender Asia, Mark Burnett Production, IOM and all personnel involved in this project; for showing the true Muaythai to audiences far beyond the stadiums and Muaythai gyms.

General Chetta Thanajaro, President of the WMC, was delighted with the response and the ratings of the show; certainly is another milestone in the history of Muaythai. General Chetta stated that the WMC, the solitary world governing body for Muaythai, is proud to be part of this project and that the WMC would provide any assistance in which the Contender Asia may require to further promote the sport.
Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan, President of the IFMA and the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand, commented that after the inclusion of Muaythai into GAISF and the Sport For All Games in Korea under the patronage of the IOC, this will be another important step in demonstrating the beauty of the art and sport to the world.
Joel Lim, Executive Producer of the Contender Asia, thanked the WMC for all the support on making this show a success and a special appreciation to the co-host and mentor of the show who is the WMC Vice President, for his tireless effort in working on the set and always has been the pillar for the boys. Mr. Lim expressed that one of the purposes of Contender Asia is to illustrate to the world that Muaythai is not just another sport but a martial art with rich traditions and values that reflected in these 16 outstanding athletes.
Gregory Ho, Vice President of the AXN and SPE Network, stated that the Contender Asia has become very successful and that the AXN is delighted to be part of this project and has the exclusive rights in Asia. He also commented that he is glad that Mark Burnett, the pioneer of the reality television shows, has chosen to produce the series in Singapore. This is the first production which was shot entirely in this country. Mr. Ho also outlined that he hopes the popularity of Muaythai will increase in great deal with the Contender Asia.

Khun Sanguan, Senior Marketing of True Visions UBC, stated that True Vision is a firm supporter of Muaythai and as a Thai, he is proud that Muaythai has become so popular. He hopes that with the Contender Asia, Muaythai will be able to reach every part of the world.

Stephan Fox, the Vice President of WMC and co-host and mentor of the show, said that the slogan of the show was “Respect All – Fear None”. He stated the true values of Muaythai – Respect All refers to the art, your parents and your teachers; Fear None means to be ready for any challenge at any time; a motto that reflects life in general. Mr. Fox expressed that through the Contender Asia, the audience will learn that we are capable of adapting to any environment with greatest respect, even when we compete against each other we are the best of friends both prior and after the fight. This differentiates Muaythai from many other combat sports.

The mass attention received from the press proves the popularity of the show. The Contender Asia will be the ultimate champion. Watch it on AXN.

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