Walking through the doors of the Tallebudgera Leisure Centre with the Westside Junior Muay Thai Competitors on Day 1 for the first weigh in of the National Championships evokes so many emotions. The kids are all extremely excited and are hopeful that they each have a match up. For us parents- so many emotions! Overwhelmed, anxious, nervous and hopeful that our kids will be rewarded for all of their hard work and efforts.
Westside MMA junior Zach Farrugia(red) competing in the final
For several months in the lead up to this event our kids have been mindful of their nutrition and dedicated to their training. They have shown motivation and commitment that many of us adults could never maintain. They have turned down social events with friends and family to take up opportunities of interclub sparring, additional training sessions, gruelling one on one sessions that are definitely not for the faint-hearted, and amateur fight nights. All to gain more exposure and experience in the sport they love, Muay Thai. They show great discipline and respect to their Coaches and to each other. They have become a second family to one another and all get along so well.
As each Junior Competitor steps up and onto the scales everyone is nervous – especially us parents! Did we all do enough the night before to make sure that everyone made weight? Eating fruit and plain greek yoghurt for dinner, running in a sweat suit, skipping, the sauna, and when the sauna wasn’t hot enough sitting on the bathroom floor together with the shower running as hot as possible to create a steam room. Day 1’s weigh in is over but still they can’t relax, they must make weight again on Day 2 and then again on Day 3. So it is another day of mindful eating- being sure to nourish their growing bodies and giving them much needed fuel for the hard work ahead while not moving those scales.
Westside MMA junior Stef Stamatakos(red) on his way to a Gold Medal victory
Not everyone has a match up, and although there is disappointment this quickly shifts to focussing on supporting those that do. The kids rally together helping those who will be stepping into the ring for 3 rounds battling it out to make the Australian Team. For the unfortunate ones who don’t get a match up the hard work isn’t over- they must continue to make weight on Day 2 and Day 3 therefore watching every morsel they put into their mouths without the prospect of fighting that weekend. They are not deterred – but determined! They all make a pact! No one pigs out until they can all pig out! That is team work, dedication, commitment - that is the Westside Junior Competition Team. For us parents it’s very similar- never had so much fruit and healthy food been eaten!
Qualifying bouts are run on Day 2, with finals and presentation on Day 3. We cheer and support each Westside Junior Competitor as if they were our own. The parent’s also support each other- there is no way to describe the feeling’s you experience as your child enters the ring to participate in such a contact sport. We celebrate the huge growth and development in each and every member of our Junior team, not just their technical skill, but also the respectful individuals that they have become. We are all so proud. Proud of our children. Proud of the parents support group. Proud of our coaches. Proud of our gym.
Westside MMA junior team celebrating a weekend of success
We leave excited for the future and wanting to provide our committed group of Junior’s with every opportunity possible to help them achieve their dreams of being the best they can in their chosen sport of Muay Thai.