As Youth Development continues to shine across IMMAF, Mixed Martial Arts Zambia has maintained their position as one of the foremost federations striving to implement new and innovative ways to use mixed martial arts to better its nation. Not only within the MMA world but further afield.
The last time MMA Zambia was featured on IMMAF.org, they had recently received government recognition. Recognition is a monumental step for any federation but MMA Zambia to achieve it in such a short time was nothing short of admiral. As President Benjamin Bush explained, recognition has assisted with the continual development of the federation monumentally.
President Bush said: “Government recognition has made a huge difference. It has provided us with the authority necessary to ensure the sport is both positive and safe. It has enabled us to sanction events lessening the risks to athletes.
“Through government recognition, we have facilitated athletes to compete internationally at amateur and professional levels and gained access to the potential government funding.”
The synergy in the work MMA Zambia are conducting inside and away from the cage is paramount to the success of the federation. President Bush said: “One of our core drivers is to use the sport for positive social change. Our Vulnerable Youth Program directly engages with those most in need.”
The inception of the National Amateur League will see MMA Zambia host a series of events in which they have control over an amateur series. Therefore, ensuring that up and coming athletes have a safe and regulated platform to compete on.
“The National Amateur League will be an association-led event series providing athletes with the platform to gain experience and progress to professional competition. It will include positive, inspirational, and educational messaging carrying the core values of our association.
“Everything we do carries the ethics and values (and direction) of our Youth Manifesto. In short, we feel everything we touch should include the injection of positive values.”
President Bush understands that Youth Development is one of the fundamental aspects for a federation to lay solid foundations. This key principle is something that resonates throughout MMA Zambia as they look to sculpt future champions; which starts at youth level. He said: “There is little doubt that youth development is integral to the development of Mixed Martial Arts as the youth are our future champions. Given how competitive (and demanding) the sport of MMA is, correct training and coaching methods are integral to Zambia’s ability to achieve success. We hope to create champions and role models who inspire their communities.
“Through a successful youth program, the growth and success of the sport become self-perpetuating as the success stories return to uplift the new generation. Rather than leaving your community behind, you aspire to bring them with you.
“We have laid forward a five-year plan and included into the plan are our values which along with our youth manifesto will see Youth development and grassroots sports as our continued focus.”
As their work continues to flourish, the Federation turns its attention to the upcoming IMMAF Africa Championships, which will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa between April 28-30 2022.