Two years ago, the Irish Muaythai Council (IMC) set out with an ambitious vision: to host an international IFMA event. Though it began on a modest scale, the Council’s commitment to growing the event year by year remains unwavering.

One of the initial challenges was the lack of IFMA-standard referees and judges in Ireland. However, IMC’s dedication to upholding the highest standards of Muaythai led to a creative solution. The Council invited IFMA Senior International Technical Official, Mr. Gunter Plank, to Ireland to train a group of passionate officials to meet the IFMA national level qualifications.

Over the course of twelve months, Mr. Plank traveled to Ireland on three separate occasions, dedicating two full days each time to intensive training sessions. His efforts culminated in a team of thirteen highly skilled officials ready to uphold IFMA standards at the upcoming event.

The much-anticipated show was scheduled for June 15, 2024, at the state-of-the-art South East Technological University Sports Arena in Waterford. The venue, complete with accommodation and dining facilities, provided an ideal setting for both participants and spectators.

Despite the concurrent Senior World Championships in Greece, IMC managed to secure participation from several neighboring countries. Among them, Team GB brought a squad of talented youth fighters, eager to compete against Ireland’s best.

The event featured forty-two junior fights, including thirteen international bouts against Team GB. The competition was fierce and evenly matched, with both teams winning four of the first eight international fights. Ultimately, Team GB edged out Team Ireland, claiming the Celtic Cup with a final score of nine wins to four.

Throughout the day, the level of competition was intense, but the respect and sportsmanship displayed by all participants embodied the true spirit of IFMA. The referees and judges performed flawlessly, earning high praise for their consistency and professionalism.

IMC is thrilled with the success of this inaugural event. It marks a significant milestone for Muaythai in Ireland, and the Council is excited about the future. The positive feedback and enthusiasm from all involved underscore the potential for growth and the promise of even greater events in the coming years.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Their hard work and dedication were instrumental in making this event a resounding success.

With the momentum gained from this achievement, IMC looks forward to continuing its mission to promote and elevate the sport of Muaythai in Ireland and beyond.