On March 3rd, 2019, members of Muaythai Ontario gathered at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. The meeting touched on MTO’s 2018 performance and learnings, and took a close look into the long-term strategy of the organization — the challenges to overcome, and what is needed to succeed in order to shape how Muaythai will evolve in Ontario and Canada. Great questions were asked throughout the meeting and we thank everybody for attending the meeting in-person and online.
The full slide deck is available below, however a summary of the topics covered is also covered in this post. You can watch the screen capture of the presentation here (audio and slides presentation).
Evolution of Muaythai Ontario
Muaythai Ontario has come a long way from its inception in 2011. In 2014 a new Board was established with the goal to go full-force in 2015 to obtain ‘Provincial Sport Organization’ (PSO) status and bring legal competition to Ontario. In 2017, the ‘PSO’ status was obtained, and operations ramped up to support the growing demand of competition across the province. In 2018, MTO as a sport organization is much more than just enabling competition.
In 2015 the vision was heavily competition focused and did not include other aspects of the sport. Recognizing the need to grow, the current vision and mission needs to be amended to encompass support for athletes, coaches, and technical officials.
We will be revamping the vision and mission statement this year to accurately reflect the long-term goals of MTO.
Events over the years have increased exponentially
- 2015: 4 events
- 2016: 9 events
- 2017: 35 events
- 2018: 40 events
Club memberships increased but reached saturation point in new club participation
- 2015: 20 clubs + 9 trial clubs
- 2016: 28 clubs + 12 trial clubs
- 2017: 62 clubs + 48 trial clubs
- 2018: 97 clubs + 16 trial clubs
Competitive Members (athletes, coaches, officials)
- 2015: 181 members
- 2016: 250 members
- 2017: 929 members
- 2018: 1070 members
Numbers do not include recreational members in clubs, which is something to be implemented after careful consideration.
Youth numbers are climbing as clubs begin to develop kids programs. Numbers expected to increase with the Canada Youth Movement.
Profit and Loss
Long term goals to achieve Sport Canada Funding
To be clear. Muaythai Ontario ≠ Muaythai Canada.
MTO covers the sport inside of Ontario, while MTC covers the sport nationally. While they may have personnel overlap, each serve a different purpose and work together to elevate Canadian Nak Muay.
Ontario is the only province that has formally recognized a sport organization to govern Muaythai in the province. Other provinces in Canada have not. This means that sometimes the long-term strategies made in Ontario need to have the country in mind. It is important to cooperate with Ontario’s neighbours that are looking to get established as MTO did.
Sport Canada Funding – The Key
This is critical to the growth of any sport organization and has a National impact. Getting Sport Canada Funding enables access to a lot of support programs for athletes, coaches, and officials, such as:
- Athlete Assistance Program Nationwide
- Direct funding to high-performing athletes
- Sport Support Program
- National Sport Funding, National training centre, coach travels, high-performance programs
- Ability to Partner with Coaching Association of Canada
- Access to Canada Games
- Quest for Gold Program
- Direct funding support to Ontario high-performing athletes
- Ontario Sport Hosting Grant
- Financial support for championship events
- Ability to Partner with Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario
Requirements of Sport Canada Funding?
Currently the requirements are as follows, however requirements are subject to change from Sport Canada by end of 2019.
- $50,000 in revenue for four years straight
- 5,000 members across the country
- Need sport organizations (like MTO) across 8 provinces/territories
- Provides a Coaching certification
- Have Officials operating at all levels, local to international
- Year-round plan for identified high-performance athletes
Changes to the Board
Muaythai Ontario’s original board members came together to push the organization into receiving provincial recognition, and to get there required paperwork. It involved writing, planning, bylaws, and integrating Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plans to prove to the government that MTO was ready to take on its role as a provincial sport organization (PSO).
MTO recognizes the need to scale and transition from a Working Board to a Policy-Based Board model. The new board members will take on a two-year term, oversee budget and strategy, not be involved with day-to-day decisions, and will act in the best long-term interests of the Organization and Community. Muaythai Ontario will later accept applications for new board members.
In addition to changes to the board, MTO has established Commissions. They are expert working groups that focuses on specific areas in need of improvement.
Such an example is Kru Rommel Oliveros of Milton Muaythai. He is the chair of the Youth Commission, which runs the Canada Youth Movement events. He saw a lack of youth development in the community and wanted to run youth-only events to build up young athletes in a safe and controlled environment. With the support of MTO, Kru Rommel both fulfills a need in the community, as well as furthers the goals of MTO.
Other Commissions that may be created: club, technical official, cultural, fundraising, female, athlete, coach etc.
Those looking to get involved in an area that is passionate to them can contact MTO!
Projects and Community Programs
- Youth Training Camps
- Under the Canada Youth Movement
- Developmental camps
- Female Leadership
- Increase retention rates of women in sport – board of directors, coaches, athletes, officials
- CAAWS partnership provides MTO with resources to do so
- At-Risk Youth Community Program
- Pilot program in the works
- Indigenous Community Program
- Pilot program in the works
Anyone looking to support a community project can contact MTO!
Muaythai Ontario will partner with Softball Ontario!
Softball Ontario is offering to share office space with MTO for a few months to test viability. Since inception, MTO has worked remotely and has turned away opportunities to onboard new interns and volunteers. This opportunity gives MTO the ability to hire and train interns, provides safe record keeping, and can become a central location for equipment storage. Being able to collaborate with another sport organization, especially one as senior as Softball Ontario, can provide MTO with insight in how to navigate the sport industry.
Decentralization is key in 2019, especially with equipment rentals for promoted events. With the number of events growing every year across Ontario, having decentralized options for equipment rentals allow for MTO Officials to easily pick up/ drop off equipment. Another set of equipment in Eastern or Northern Ontario can also reduce costs for promoters holding Muaythai events.
Increase to Rush Fees
With the introduction of the digital MTO Membership and moving paperwork online, there still requires a manual component in reviewal of memberships, medicals, and background screening. MTO hopes to get away from last minute submissions that lead to uncertainty and cancelled matches for promoters.
The increase in rush fees from $25 to $30 is directly associated with improving the processing capacity. The additional funds will go toward bringing a contract medical processing aide that will work solely on medical processing to alleviate workload of the current staff.
Other Improvements to Staffing & Volunteers
- New content creator, Ryan McKinnon of The Bloody Ballet
- Helps recap events, provide coverage of the community, highlight clubs, spotlight athletes etc.
- New Tournament Manager, Pryangka Batumalay
- Alleviate additional workload for staff by taking on planning and coordination of the Provincial Championship – venue, contracts, partners etc.
- Medical Processing Aide
- Review medical submissions with athletes
- Data Processing Aide, Yuki Yamanaka and Pryangka Batumalay
- Enter MTO event results onto database that will automate on athlete profiles, and feed onto live ranking system
- Summer Interns
- With the anticipation of a new space, MTO can expand the team and take on interns with the support of government grants
- Add a Rules Bulletin on MTO website that will actively be refreshed with updated rules, and small changes
- Curate newsletters to better serve member interests
- Matchmaking Group on Facebook
- Enable coaches a forum to easily coordinate and find matchups for athletes
- Community Group
- Dialogue with athletes, coaches, and feedback about the organization
Huge undertaking for the staff to implement, and difficulty getting started with the Toronto Police. However, very important for the safety of the community.
The focus on the background screening delayed the implementation of the coaching program, which will be a focus for 2019.
Development for Members
Coach certification is important and required:
- by the Ministry of Sport in Ontario in order for MTO to retain Provincial Sport Organizational status,
- for Sport Canada Funding,
- to promote professional development, and
- to follow the NCCP coach structure.
The goal is to round out a coach’s development and level as a local coach to international coach. While MTO’s coaching course has yet to be released, coaches can get a head start on their certification by signing up on Coach.ca, and taking core NCCP modules.
Official’s Development has started by restructuring the pathway. There will be formal evaluations for Official’s, and benefits with skill improvement. Feedback on this restructure has started in the form of a survey to all Official’s. MTO will carefully review feedback and continue dialogue with Official’s for implementation.
Clubs have a new map directory on the website! Club membership certificates will be sent to clubs as PDFs, as well as a club membership logo that clubs can add to their website. A new insurance strategy is also being discussed in order to provide beneficial and flexible options for clubs registered under MTO.
Recreational Members will help provide the stats required for Sport Canada Funding, as well as other government funding opportunities. It is a huge source of revenue to fund community programming. However, this is tricky and roll-out will be carefully discussed before implementation.
Athletes competing professionally technically, by law, aren’t allowed to re-enter amateur. MTO has an ad-hoc reinstatement process with the Athletic Commission to bring athletes back into amateur competition.
The law currently limits opportunities for athletes looking to increase experience outside of Canada. MTO has built a strong relationship with the new Athletic Commissioner of Ontario who supports the reformation of the Athletic Control Act (which oversees professional athletes). Moving forward, MTO will be looking for partners and taking on parts of lobbying required to make it a concern for politicians to change this law.
Tournaments in Ontario
The Provincial Championship will be held at Ryerson University – Kerr Hall Upper Gymnasium on May 24-25-26, 2019.
The National Championship will be held at the Markham Pan Am Centre on November 8-9-10, 2019.
Questions about anything?
You can refer to a copy of the slides here, or watch the screen capture of the presentation here (audio and slides presentation).
Any other questions can be directed to Muaythai Ontario at this contact form.