Mrs. Irina Gladkikh and Mr. Andrew Hofer from the IOC Sports Department visited the WAKO World Kickboxing Championship in Antalya, Turkey.
This is the first time IOC is present at the WAKO World Championships and the objective was to get to know the sport, how the sport is presented and to see the level of some of the disciplines.
IOC representatives attended the WAKO Athletes seminar on November 29th, where Mrs. Irina Gladkikh addressed to the participants explaining which are the key values of the sport.
WAKO's invention Athletes Corner, inspired by the IOC Learn and Share, was also inspected by Mr. Hofer where he got the chance to spend some time with the WAKO Athlete Committee and representatives of Women in Sport Committee in order to be introduced in the actions in the corner.
IOC representative Mr. Hofer had a chance at the championships to meet Syrian refugee, Ali Hussein Alkhadi, the WAKO coach in the Zaatary refugee camp in Jordan. IOC was introduced to the Peace and Sport, Live together programme developed by Peace and Sport.
WAKO leadership used the opportunity to present the sport to a wider perspective. IOC was pleasantly surprised about the universality of the kickboxing sport and the variety of the disciplines. The main impression they got is that organization is heading in right direction in the development of kickboxing sport.
IOC asked for a detailed demonstration of the scoring system and President Roy Baker and Vice-President Espen Lund created a demonstration in order to explain the system, the openness, the transparency and of course educative aspect of it. IOC got very impressed by the demonstration.
They filmed the demonstration and also looked at the detailed report that is created for each fight.
For WAKO this kind of open scoring is important in order to ensure eliminate manipulation and match-fixing and to ensure maximum fair play for all parties.
WAKO got provisional recognition by the IOC on 30th November 2018 and it is important for the sport to aim for new goals and to ensure to develop in the right direction.