The African nations of IMMAF sparked a boom in education for newly licensed MMA coaches in recent years and the momentum was not halted the 2020 global pandemic.
IMMAF and its members have now enjoyed exceptional programs in South Africa, Algeria, Mauritius, Zambia and Cameroon, with new studies opened up in Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt with further nations including Ghana, Namibia and other regions joining the waiting list.
From 2019 to 2020 IMMAF held 4 coach education and certification programs, hosted by South Africa and Algeria, for all registered coaches of IMMAF member nations within the continent. Since March of 2020 the education process entered distance learning mode with online theory lessons, to be followed with practical assessment of coaching skill once travel and contact restrictions are lifted.
“IMMAF adopted immediately to the pandemic’s effect by restructuring the coaching course from the classroom set up to online education,” Dr Andrew Moshanov, Development Director, explained. “We turned to ZOOM online seminars to explain and share specific topics to coaches requiring more information to sharpen their tools. The national federations have arranged a number of seminars with Cameroon leading by example and South Africa reaching the highest number of certified coaches.”
Establishing a digital connection with the sport of MMA has been an important step. The IMMAF grading APP is the most required tool in MMA development pathways. The digital record of progression encourages athletes and coaches, recognises their hard work and highlights skill development. With such developments, MMA is not only moving fast in popularity, but is now equipped to cover and track all required fields to keep sport safe and moving to higher levels of growth that can be recorded.
Dr Moshanov added, “Governments of Africa are reacting swiftly to new MMA development coming on their doorsteps and are working together with their national organisations in the first steps to giving the support they really need. The landscape of MMA as a well-developed sport in Africa will surprise us all in the months to come. IMMAF’s message to athletes, coaches and groups working on developing the sport of MMA is that IMMAF has the resources you need, and they are available to all.”