The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) launched its international Peace Through MMA Youth Programme today with an introductory seminar for National Federations as part of its 2021 Technical Seminar Week (online), Organising an IMMAF Youth MMA Programme.
The seminar was led by programme leader Danny Corr BME of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association and chairman of IMMAF’s Peace Through MMA Commission. Corr is acclaimed for his award-winning, government-supported Fight to Unite youth project in Northern Ireland, a region that has seen many problems due to past conflict. The project boasts tremendous outcomes in achieving nationally recognised qualifications alongside personal development for young MMA practitioners and creating jobs. It has also been successful in peaceably bringing together youths from divided communities. Now a cross-border Sport for Peace project with the Irish Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA), in the Republic of Ireland, is under launch in Drogheda with backing from the Louth & Meath Education and Training Board.
In today’s seminar, Corr spoke about his background during the troubles in Northern Ireland, where young people to this day remain vulnerable to gang exploitation and making wrong choices that lead them to crime, anti-social behaviour, dropping out of school and involvement with drugs, at a huge cost to society. He outlined how his peace project has tackled these issues and presented positive, tangible results with youth achievement statistics and surveys carried out with participants.
Corr commented: “A young person should never feel like a failure at 16 years old. They have choices and they should always believe that they can succeed. They deserve chances. The MMA peace programme is based on four pillars: MMA, education, employment and youth leadership. It seeks to promote respect, discipline, self-control and feelings of belonging as we look to create a family-like environment, which goes a long way in sustaining the success of the project.”
Corr then outlined the consultancy and support programme through which IMMAF is now offering his blueprint to other National Federations, as part of its commitment to sport for peace.
SEMINAR WITH THE IMMAF CEO: NATIONAL FEDERATION ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
The IMMAF CEO, Densign White MBE OLY gave an update of the ongoing work being done by IMMAF to secure the highest standards of good governance and underlined why this work is so relevant to National Federations. White emphasised that the pursuit of Good Governance is important due to its impact on local recognition and allowing National Federations to govern and regulate the sport with a credible mandate. He outlined the responsibilities and requirements of federations to meet international standards in transparency and democracy and the necessity of solid structures and strategic planning.
2021 IMMAF Technical Seminar Week for IMMAF members continues on Wednesday with Evidence-Based Weight Management in MMA presented by academic researchers, Dr Carl Langan PhD ASCC SENr, Ben Crighton MSc and Christopher Kirk MSc CSCS.