Young athletes from 15 countries around the world have begun arriving in Greece for the very first GAMMA U18 World Championships which is taking place in the city of Alexandroupolis in the northeastern part of the country this weekend.

For the majority of the 200 athletes, some from as young as 8 years old, this will be their first taste of international competition and it is the experience more than the quest to win medals that will be the primary motivating factor.

The local organisers, the GAMMA Member in Greece and the Hellenic Wresting Federation have worked extremely hard to stage this event in the aftermath of the devastating forest fires in the region last month, and it will surely be a great relief for them to be able to host the teams and deliver an excellent championships.

Registrations, weigh-ins, and medical checks are on the agenda for the athletes from Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, and the United States on Wednesday and Thursday before the 33-weight category competition gets underway at the Michalis Paraskevopoulos Indoor Gym on Friday afternoon.

As part of the additional activities available for participants during their time in Greece, GAMMA together with technology partner Ludus Alliance Technologies will be staging the very first Cognitive Athletics competition on the sidelines of the Championships. This is a fun and innovative addition to MMA training, and will no doubt prove to be popular for everyone who takes part. To find out more about this partnership click here.

“This is the first time that we host an event in Greece, and I am extremely grateful that despite the challenges in recent months, the organisers have still been willing to welcome the GAMMA community to Alexandroupolis. Providing competition opportunities for our young athletes is an integral part of their development in the sport and I hope that everyone will enjoy the event and take the opportunity to learn from each other and share their perspectives and experiences from their own countries. I look forward to some great days together in Greece.” said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt.

Competition begins at 13:30 local time (12:30 CET) on Friday and can be followed live via the FightScout platform. To download the app visit the website or find it in the app store. For further information and to follow the live results, click here.