<![CDATA[The Ulster Amateur MMA Association (UAMMAA) have informed IMMAF of a historic development for MMA in Northern Ireland. Mainstream government has acknowledged the benefits that Mixed Martial Arts can bring to youths in building positive relationships across divided parts of the community in Northern Ireland. As a result of years of hard work and discussions with government officials, a pilot summer camp has been funded in partnership with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum where youths from the age of 11 to 18 can attend for free to learn aspects of MMA, health and fitness and personal development. The youths will be rewarded by a fully funded residential adventure weekend. Danny Corr, founding member and Chairman of UAMMAA, stated: "I am extremely proud and excited to have been given the go ahead at the highest level to show the country that our sport has everything, to show how we can develop youths through our sport and to use our sport in developing other positive aspects of their lives. Not everyone can be a top competitor but everyone can gain a positive life changing experience through a focused programme. Through my links with Fight For Peace we have been able to show officials that by combining MMA with personal development we can help realise the potential of young people in communities affected by crime, violence and social exclusion. We will provide young people with the tools, resilience and support structures they need to become life champions and create positive futures for themselves. "The Government strategy is about challenging historic positions, encouraging debate and discussion and providing a way for young people to get to know each other, try new experiences, have fun and help to build long term relationships. We will achieve this through MMA and my hope is that this pilot will pave the way for all clubs in Ulster MMA to reap the benefits." The 2015 pilot summer camps programme is funded through a government Strategy called "Together: Building a United Community (TBUC)", the Northern Ireland Executive’s strategy for good relations. It is based on four key priorities aimed at building on the progress that has already been made in our community over recent years:
- Our children and young people.
- Our shared community.
- Our safe community.
- Our cultural expression.