Inside Warwick Fight Night 2024: Our uni’s most explosive annual Muay Thai event

The charity event raised £2,000 for CRASAC

Now, I’m not much of a fighter myself. Sure, I’ve wrestled around with my brothers and occasionally beaten the other Co-EIC Sarath in a casual fistfight – but not this Muay Thai stuff. This is serious business.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Warwick Fight Night 2024 – Warwick Thai Boxing’s annual Muay Thai event. It’s a well-known Warwick event that’s been put on for over five years now, and its especially famous amoung the sport societies. I knew a couple of the fighters myself and had heard great things about the tournament, so in the name of student journalism and support for my friends, I decided to visit. If you’re curious about the sport, or just watching safely from ringside like me, you’ve clicked the right article. I’ve taken it upon myself to do my homework – read on for various interviews with the Events Secretary, Welfare Officer and even the President. Here’s everything that went down:

The atmosphere

In three words – it’s explosive, dynamic and supportive. Fights came on regularly and everyone was always hyped. Fighters lingered around with audience members, so everyone could get real close and revel in the excitement together. Although it was my first fight night (and experience with Warwick Thai Boxing in general), I never felt out of place. I bumped into a couple of people that I knew – like my fighter brother – and everyone would tell me the same thing: That I’d love the event. Hosted in Assembly Leamington, this electric atmosphere was present right from the start. The whole thing lasted for a quite a while – with the fun non-decision fights at the start of the day and the main charity ones (featuring execs) taking place later on in the evening.

What happened?

In short – a lot. Apart from the charity matches, Warwick Thai Boxing put on 28 non-decision fights, including fighters from five different univesitities from across the country. The event featured a very cool looking ring in the centre of the venue, bouncers, snacks, a DJ with music, a professional photographer and even paramedics (because safety first).

The Warwick Tab spoke to Jack, the Events Secretary for Warwick Thai Boxing. He explained: “It took lots of organization in the weeks leading up to it and even more on the day. We arrived at 8am to start setting things up so it was a long day for those involved and fighters arrived shortly after to weigh in.

“Thankfully we had a great team of volunteers from our society as well as our exec to help with various jobs throughout the evening such as announcing, timing the fights, running the front desk and letting the fighters know when they need to be getting ready. It’s definitely a big challenge to put on but good communication and being organized helped a lot.”

Supporting CRASAC

I later learnt that this was actually the first time the tournament featured charity events – an idea that the current pres, Zoe, came up with. There were various stalls set up that both took donations for CRASAC and served some delicious nachos that I really, really do have to mention (food proceeds went to CRASAC, of course). I wish I took some pics, because those nachos were divine – served with the cheesiest of sauces and jalapenos.

We spoke to Shariq, the Welfare Officer, who told The Warwick Tab why they chose CRASAC: “CRASAC (Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) is a charity we previously had links with via the previous Charity and Welfare Emilie Eisenberg. Sexual violence is a prominent issue and CRASAC aims to support those affected via counselling and other specialist services. This year, we wanted to raise as much money as possible as a result of Coventry city council funding cuts, which meant they have to pause referrals for new clients.

“It’s really important that survivors can get the help they needed and so all profits from this event go to CRASAC, and having the charity fighters definitely helped with ticket sales. All the clubs coming to watch their fighter do their best brings a lot of energy to the sport, and we absolutely loved how eager everybody was to raise money for the cause.”

Personally, I was really happy to see a sports society supporting women against sexual violence and assault – especially in a typically male-dominated combat sport. Warwick Thai Boxing did this incredibly well, and they ended up raising £2000 in support of CRASAC – we honestly love to see it.

Speaking to Zoe, the President of Warwick Thai Boxing

When interviewed by The Warwick Tab, Zoe explained: “All fights were a treat to watch. We also held a decision fight, with Warwick unfortunately losing – however, what a show of Thai boxing it was! Something else that was trialled this year was woman’s block to give women in martial arts a more centre stage. This being at the end of the non decision fights, we had crowds of upwards of 250 people to see women in the ring.

“Charity fights brought in more people to watch Thai boxing than we have ever seen and it is the first year we have not lost money from the event. We can happily report we have raised 2k for CRASAC!”

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