Muay Thai hero, Bassam Murthasa who made his motherland proud in many international Muay Thai tournaments, including the most prestigious World Muay Thai Championship, stood in front of the whole world and addressed the United Through Sports (UTS) World Youth Festival 2022, recently.

This event was held under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, Paralympic Committee, Special Olympic Committee, AIMS and more. The World Youth Festival was hosted in Bangkok from 14 to 20 November this year, with the participation of 15 young leaders from all around the globe.

Representing the country, representing the sport

The event was held fantastically, with the participation of representatives from many international organisations and various international sports federations. Bassam took part in the grand festival as a representative of his sport, Muay Thai.

“It was a great pleasure to be in the World Youth Festival, I felt overwhelmed. It was even more overwhelming for me because, the country where the festival was hosted, Thailand, is the home of Muay Thai. I felt proud being there and representing the International Federation of Muay Thai Association, as a youth ambassador,” Bassam shared with Scribbler.

Bassam was the only Sri Lankan to participate in the event.

Future Belongs to Us

In relation to the United Nations Tolerance Day, a special event was held at the Srina Karin Wirot University in Bangkok, on 16 November. The former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, Members of the International Olympic Committee, Members of the United Nations, numerous distinguished speakers and other guests participated in the event.

At this occasion, Bassam addressed the audience as the youngest ambassador, and the youngest participant in the event, under the title ‘Future Belongs to Us’.

He began his speech by quoting the world-famous leader Nelson Mandela.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead,” he said. “We have just come out of a pandemic. There is so much taking place in various parts of the globe. A billion people live in extreme poverty. Climate change is a deep concern along with food security, and the destruction of oceans and rainforests. All of these are problems that we, your children will inherit,” he opined.

He further explained, “Change starts with young people like us pushing authorities or systems to do their job effectively. It is us that will lead countries; deal with the many issues passed on to us. The youth of the world have the right to be deeply concerned. In fact, we have the right to be angry as we carry the torch of light to the next generations,” Bassam shared his deep insights with the audience.

“The youth of the world stand in solidarity, and this is why Muay Thai is a perfect example of a sport trying to make change regardless of what part of the world we come from, through the deep tradition, and cultural understandings, and above all, the respect.”

In his speech, he spoke of the five pillars of Muay Thai which are respect, honour, tradition, excellence, and fair play. These he said are not just pillars of the sport but the pillars of life. Therefore, “we are proud to be in the Olympic Committee unifying the world through Olympic values and using sport as an agent of positive social change,” he furthered.

As he concluded, he thanked UTS for standing for and with the youth to build a better tomorrow.

Bassam’s speech was highly recognised and praised by the many leaders and speakers who were present at the event.

Bassam, who is also a member of the IMA Muay Thai Club in Sri Lanka, hails from Mawanella, Sri Lanka. Currently he is studying in grade 4 at Good Hope College Mawanella. He has been practising Muay Thai since he was very little and, now has grown into a great player. His outstanding Muay Thai skills have astounded many veteran trainers and players of the world.

Scribbler wishes Bassam good luck in his future endeavours. We have full faith he will bring more glory to our nation.

By Induwara Athapattu (Ceylon Today)