02 December 2016

Hansel and Gretel TWG2017 Mascots on their first #HeForShe Mission

Hansel and Gretel, the mascots for The World Games 2017 recently became involved with IFMA as part of our work with UN Women on the #HeForShe campaign.

Hansel and Gretel have been getting to know a little about our sport over the last few months. Gretel wanted to learn as much as Hansel, and she said it’s been great meeting female coaches and referees at our events in Croatia and Kazan, very inspirational.

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She said: ‘I like that the men and women work together, it’s super-fun to see women training men for competition. I’d love to be that strong! And I guess if you are a man and your coach is a woman, then you’re really #heforshe. You have to really trust someone to let them coach you for a fight.’

Hansel said he was impressed by the female judges and referees. He was watching the judging carefully to make sure IFMA is only sending the very best athletes to The World Games next year. And he said he saw older male referees who have lots of experience helping and training some younger female referees.

He said: ‘I hang out with Gretel all the time, I wouldn’t want to do any sport where she’s not welcome. It’s so important to me that we’re treated the same, it would be upsetting if she was made to feel different.’

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The pair spoke to the referees during one of their daily meetings before the action starts every day. Gold medal winners from this IFMA World Cup go forward to The World Games so there can’t be any mistakes!

Hansel was wearing his #heforshe badge, and he was delighted to see female referees preparing to work alongside their male colleagues.

‘Gretel likes the fighters, but I prefer the referees.  What they say is the law round here isn’t it? So I think if the judges are female, that means muaythai is definitely #heforshe cause even the toughest men in the ring have to accept what the female judge says, he has to respect her knowledge,’ Hansel said.

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He told the referees all about The World Games next year and what the city of Wroclaw is planning. And he asked them to make sure IFMA brings lots of female judges along so young people learning about muaythai next year can see there is support for women to take on this important role!



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