In 2015, Toronto was host to the Pan Am games, a massive continental multi-sport event under patronage of the International Olympic Committee. Preparing Toronto for the games meant a renewed focus on amateur sport; the building of facilities such as the Pan Am Centre in Scarborough, the athlete’s village in the West Donlands, funding programs for athletes and coaches for training and development, and more. As a legacy to the Pan Am games, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, & Sport enacted GAME ON, a comprehensive plan to establish priorities for the government: participation, development, and excellence.

Participation, that athletes are better able to participate in safe, organized sport

Development, that athletes receive the right support, including access to trained coaches and officials to develop their skills

Excellence, that athletes can do their best in high performance sport by having competitive training and development opportunities  and access to the latest high performance programs, services, facilities, and technologies led by sport experts

MTO has been hard at work to establish these pillars for the sport of muaythai, and is proud to announce that it has joined the ranks of the Ontario government recognized Provincial Sport Organizations, fully supporting MTO’s mission to establish Ontario as a predominant source of Muaythai talent across the globe. Muaythai Ontario now leads Canada as the first provincially recognized sport organization in the country, and sets the stage for other provinces to follow.

This news comes at an important time for the sport, following the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur’s provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Muaythai is building incredible momentum locally, nationally, and internationally, with success building upon success. In order for Ontario to become even more competitive in the national and international arenas, it will need to make full use of the resources afforded to it by provincial recognition which will include access to funding programs that had previously remained out of reach for athletes across the province.

MTO looks forward to helping muaythai practitioners reach their aspirations in the sport, be it as an amateur or professional nak muay, a community to Olympic coach, or official at a club show to the world championships. As a sport that has long remained in the shadow of other combat sports, we are proud to have helped muaythai get the recognition it deserves. #WeAreMuaythai