Accessibility links

Breaking News

Muay Thai World Champion Trains Children in Cameroon

Seven-time muay thai world champion Dany Bill in training
Seven-time muay thai world champion Dany Bill in training

Seven-time Cameroonian muay thai world champion Dany Bill is using his skills to raise funds for his foundation in Africa that is focused on training young people in the sport.

Bill works with over 100 young Cameroonians which he mentors through his foundation known as “Les étoiles de la maison,” or “The Stars of the House.”

The athlete moved to France at an early age where he had to learn how to defend himself as a young migrant. First, he picked up kung fu and later got into muay thai.

In 1988, at age 15, Bill became the French muay thai champion and in 1993 became the first European fighter to win the world title in Bangkok.

Bill said he looks to use his experience as a world champion to inspire youth.

“I want to help kids. I talk with the family over there. I say, ‘I see too many young people take boat, I want they stay in the country and do something new, new job like sport,” he said.

Shawn Yacoubian, the owner of Yacoubian Muay Thai Academy, said he wants his students to learn from legendary fighters like Bill.

“I want my students to be able to experience the education from one of the legendary fighters, the golden era, the 90s,” Yacoubian said.

“A lot of great champions were created during that time, and he was one of them,” added Yacoubian in reference to Bill.

Peter ‘Sugarfoot’ Cunningham, a boxing trainer in the central African nation, said combat sport is a great way to instill confidence in children.

“Boxing is a great platform to pick kids up, to give you confidence in yourself, and not just for them fighting,” Cunningham said.

“They can learn muay thai and learn boxing, kickboxing, and the confidence they gain from this can send them on to become scientists, doctors, lawyers and teachers,” he added.