By Ross Patterson
Mixed Martial Arts has been officially recognised as a sport in Mauritius, marking a significant moment in the development of MMA in the country.
Following a long application process, Mixed Martial Arts Federation Mauritius (MMAFM) proudly announced this week they had been successful in their attempt to gain government recognition.
This is an important milestone as it legitimises the sport and distinguishes MMAFM as the governing body of MMA in Mauritius.
The Federation’s President, Ramotoul Avinash, said:
“It’s with much pride and satisfaction, I express my happiness for receiving the recognition from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation in terms of assistance and support for the development of MMA in Mauritius.”
Mauritius is one of Africa’s longest-standing IMMAF members. In 2018, they entered their first team in the Africa Championships. They have since built a robust, well-organised federation through which the sport has grown.
Official government recognition symbolises that a country has embraced mixed martial arts as a legitimate sport, and the government will assist in reaching the Federation’s long-term goals.
“Having the government facilities and assistance are very important in the strategic growth of the sport. It brings a kind of trust among athletes, members and everyone involved as we need to abide by specific regulations to ensure safe and sound development of the sport with integrity, discipline, good governance and fair play.”
Government recognition means that the sport will receive a boost at all levels, from amateurs right up to the professionals.
“With the government support, we will have the opportunity to put in place more MMA clubs in other regions. Opening opportunities for more people, recreational and elite, to access the proper and well-defined MMA structure. We will obtain more facilities to deliver towards the ambition of our athletes from amateur to professional level thus bringing our Mauritian MMA team to the highest level.”
This news comes less than two weeks before the 2022 IMMAF Africa Championships, where countries from across the continent will come together in Johannesburg to compete under the IMMAF banner. Mauritius has entered six athletes, all of which will be encouraged by the recognition.
MMAFM are also committed to giving young people opportunities to thrive in MMA. As Avinash explained:
“Our focus is on the youth as they are the future heroes of the sport. We stretch on values, integrity, respect, discipline and effort for success. With the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation assistance, we will access the underprivileged regions creating an opening to each and everyone in the sport.”
“We are hugely grateful to IMMAF President – Mr Kerrith Brown, CEO – Mr Densign White and all of IMMAF’s personnel who provide all necessary resources, facilities and support to help National Federations to progress and create professional careers to all those willing to develop as athletes, coaches, referees, judges, cut men or officials.”