IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown, has returned from a very productive trip to Poland.
The main reason for the visit was so that President Brown could meet with MMA Polska President Martin Lewandowski to discuss the ongoing educational work being carried out by the federation, along with the possibility of Poland hosting an IMMAF Championship event in the near future.
“Our meetings were focused on the pathway for obtaining national sports recognition for the federation and discussing the opportunity and practicalities of Poland potentially hosting the 2023 IMMAF European Championships as a demonstration event in the 2023 European Games 2023.”
“Martin has done an excellent job and been energetic in educating authorities about amateur MMA, and in fostering an understanding among them about the importance of governance and development for the sport. The groundwork he put into securing our meetings was impressive. We look forward to a fruitful working relationship with MMA Polska in furthering the recognition of MMA in Poland and hopefully securing a European MMA Championships as part of the European Games”
Having been extremely impressed with such promising steps being made by the Federation, President Brown found time to visit some potential areas to host future championships.
“We had a look at some of the venues while we were out there, although a decision is still yet to be made by the government about which city it would take place in. Support and appetite for the event are very strong and there is an eagerness to get things secured as early as possible.”
Whilst in Poland, he also had a very constructive meeting with WADA representatives; in which the new, more transparent WADA process was discussed at length, as well as IMMAF’s dedication to being at the forefront of the clean Mixed Martial Arts.
“They were complimentary about IMMAF’s application and how we conducted ourselves during the process. We talked about the new process, which IMMAF was the first federation to go through. We thanked President Banka and Director Sebastien Gillot for welcoming change and for making WADA more transparent and compliant with good governance. We feel the new process signalled this transparency. We thanked them for their support in our ultimately becoming a code signatory in December. We stressed IMMAF’s commitment to clean MMA and shared the example of how successful we were in our last world championships for which there were no positive drug findings. They complimented IMMAF on being a new, modern organisation committed to meeting governance standards.”
President Brown met with the head of the Polish Olympic Committee, who has developed a good understanding of the sport due to his relationship with Mr Lewandowski and will be a key supporter of the federation as they advance through the recognition process.
President Brown hailed the Poland trip as a huge success, leaving feeling positive and excited about what is next for the country.
“The most striking takeaway for me is the strong level of support and a great understanding for MMA that exists among the Polish community and the open welcome given to its sports development. I am truly excited about the possibility of IMMAF’s 2023 Euros being hosted in Poland.”