By Jake Smith
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, IMMAF CEO Densign White and IMMAF Development Director Andrew Moshanov capped an extremely successful trip to Kyrgyzstan by meeting the President of the country, Sadyr Japarov, in the company of the senior management of MMA Federation of Kyrgyzstan. President Brown was invited to meet the Kyrgyzstan president in his office for a wide ranging discussion about the work IMMAF is doing to promote MMA globally and the potential for growth in Kyrgyzstan.
IMMAF is delighted to announce that his excellency accepted the position of honorary President of MMA Federation of Kyrgyzstan; his certificate was presented by the newly elected president of MMA Federation of Kyrgyzstan Erkin Tentishev and Mr Brown.
Many topics were covered throughout the meeting, including IMMAF’s ambitions, especially in terms of youth development and the use of MMA to achieve social responsibility. President Japarov is a huge advocate for healthy living and very much into sport; he is a graduate of Kyrgyz National Academy of Physical Culture and Sport. He assured the IMMAF delegates that he will fully support all IMMAF initiatives in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, saying “I was a sportsman myself, and I know how important it is to support an athlete at the right time of their journey.”
While waiting to be introduced to President Japarov, the IMMAF delegates met some more of the country’s sporting greats, President Brown explained: “Our waiting time in the lobby of the presidential office turned out to be a most remarkable experience and again sport-wise.
“We talked to deputies, ministers, governors to discover their rich sports background, such as Kadimbek Osmonaliev, 1980 Olympic Champion in weightlifting, 2008 Silver medallist in wrestling. Soon we were joined by the member of the parliament, who proudly shared his experience as an open water swimmer, recently making a 32 km crossing of the Bosphorus Straits.”
President Japarov had an extremely busy few days, meeting the Olympians who clinched three medals at the Tokyo Olympics, the first time Olympic medals had been brought back to the country since the 2008 Games. They were also joined by support staff, doctors, coaches and everyone who contributed to the success and played their part in the critically acclaimed sports system.
President Brown, IMMAF CEO Densign White and Mr Moshanov also met with the management of MMA Federation of Kyrgyzstan led by Erkin Tentishev. It was evident that there is an appetite for more courses in the region as they continue to strengthen their structure around MMA; plans have been set in motion to train and develop their own cut men, judges and referees, and also to engage with official IMMAF certification programmes.
President Brown also appeared on national Television to discuss mixed martial arts development in Kyrgyzstan and across the globe.
Before flying back to the UK, Kerrith Brown said:
“This has been a really fruitful visit and it was a privilege and pleasure to receive an invitation to meet President Japarov. It was so clear that President Japarov clearly understood the importance that MMA could play in sport and social development in his country and gave his full support to the new President of our affiliated federation. On behalf of IMMAF I was delighted to see that the efforts of our member federation to focus on youth development of MMA is receiving the backing of the highest political authority. On a personal level, it was also enjoyable to discuss my own background in Olympic sport since not only the President, but other members of his Cabinet, have experience of elite sport and an understanding of the role sport can play in civic society.”
Kyrgyzstan is a country of great potential and a very much sport loving country. IMMAF is excited to see how Mixed Martial Arts continues to develop in the nation.