“It is our duty and responsibility to work as one towards a better world and use sport as a tool towards cultural understanding.”
Stephan Fox, IFMA General Secretary
Four questions for Stephan Fox, IFMA General Secretary, Vice-President of GAISF
1. How do Muaythai organisations, clubs and athletes, act as role models?
In muaythai, we have a saying… “Never look down on someone unless it’s to reach out to help them up.” Respect plays an important part from the first day you enter the muaythai family. Non-discrimination, inclusion, integrity are not just empty words. In order to be an example, you must lead my example so everyone in the muaythai family is doing their best to contribute to society and a better world.
2. What are the assets and specificities of combat sports in promoting certain values and behaviours?
Respect, honour, tradition, excellence and Fair Play are deeply rooted in the world of martial arts and combat sports. Martial Arts are based on discipline and self-control. It has important values of self-improvement and respect towards one another, and respect for life in itself. There are so many benefits which are as much a strong body and mind as much as a strong spirit.
3. How would you enhance/strengthen the role of sports federations in conveying inspiring messages to the youth?
The youth are our future and our hope at the same time. It is our duty and responsibility to work as one towards a better world and use sport as a tool towards cultural understanding. Unity in diversity, respecting our differences in the spirit of the Olympic values is key. Our athletes are Ambassadors for peace. They compete under the same rules, they peacefully are in the same field of play, Olympic villages and show us daily that living together is possible.
4. More generally, how does GAISF mobilise role-models?
GAISF is the umbrella body for recognised sporting organisations, regardless whether Olympic or non-Olympic. Through the different platforms and knowledge sharing and using different resources with the support and cooperation of the IOC, each sport works for the simple purpose of developing their own sports for our most important assets – our youths and athletes. Another example if the United Through Sports initiatives where sporting organisations work hand in hand towards inclusion, non-discrimination and to let the unique talents of the youths’ shine.
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