In a groundbreaking announcement on July 13, 2023, Mr. Siraphan Kamolpramote, President of the Hua Hin Sports Development Association and Adviser to the mayor of Hua Hin, Prachuap Province, unveiled the Sports Authority of Thailand’s (SAT) ambitious plans to elevate Muay Thai to new heights. The initiative, set to commence in the fiscal year 2023, aims to promote, support, conserve, publicize, and develop Muay Thai as a national sport while stimulating Thailand’s tourism economy. This endeavor reflects the country’s commitment to promoting its unique cultural heritage and fostering a positive attitude among the Thai people.
To kickstart this mission, SAT will organize a series of local Muay Thai competitions, spanning from grassroots to international levels. The competition format includes regional qualifying rounds, culminating in knockout battles to determine the ultimate champions. The regional finals, scheduled for July, will consist of the Northern and Northeastern Championships in Chiang Rai Province on July 16, followed by the Central and Southern Championships in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province on July 23. These fierce showdowns will showcase the immense talent and skill of Muay Thai practitioners from different parts of the country.
For the Prachuap Province region, the competition venue has been carefully selected—a multipurpose yard situated in front of the bustling Market Village shopping center in Hua Hin District. In preparation for the event, Ms. Busaba Choksuchat, Deputy Mayor of Hua Hin City, accompanied SAT Prachuap Khiri Khan and other officials to assess the venue’s suitability. With a seating capacity for approximately 500 spectators, the venue promises an exhilarating atmosphere for enthusiasts to witness the intense matches between six pairs of highly skilled fighters. The matches are scheduled to commence at 6:00 p.m., ensuring an evening filled with electrifying displays of Muay Thai prowess.
In addition to the thrilling competition, Hua Hin Municipality has organized an exhibition honoring the legendary boxer, Pone Kingpetch. The former world champion of the World Boxing Council (WBC) is a source of pride for the Hua Hin community, and his legacy will be celebrated in the vicinity of the competition venue. This special exhibition will offer locals and tourists alike the opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable career of Pone Kingpetch. Visitors can enjoy this exhibition at no cost, immersing themselves in the rich heritage of Thai boxing and experiencing the deep-rooted passion for the sport.
For those unable to attend in person, the competition will be broadcasted live on the fan pages “Muay Thai Rak Ya” and “Muay Thai Rak Ya: The Thai Way of Life.” These online platforms will provide fans with a front-row seat to the exhilarating matches, allowing them to witness the artistry and tradition of Muay Thai from the comfort of their homes. It’s a testament to the growing popularity and global appeal of this ancient martial art form.
As Thailand embraces its national sport, the SAT’s efforts to promote Muay Thai and integrate it into the fabric of Thai society are commendable. By combining the excitement of the sport with the allure of tourism, the Regional Championships aim to captivate both locals and international visitors, showcasing Thailand’s rich cultural heritage while providing a platform for emerging Muay Thai talents to shine. As the journey to crown the next champions intensifies, let us all rally behind these fierce athletes and witness the power and grace that epitomize the spirit of Muay Thai.