Monday, June 24, 2013

World Taekwondo Federation endorses para-athletes

The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is continuing its efforts in endorsing and sharing the Paralympic and Para-sport values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. Taekwondo has started to increase its initiatives in growing its para-athlete martial art program for para-Taekwondo.

A para-athlete is an athlete with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, including mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy.

The signings took place on June 7, 2013 and intend to create new disciplines of para-taekwondo, with a large focus on taekwondo poomse, which is a series of postures and movements of the technical forms of taekwondo skills.

Moments preceding a WTF Extraordinary Council meeting at the International Olympic Committee headquarters, the WTF signed MOUs (memorandums of understanding) with the International Sport Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disability (INAS) and the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA).

Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of the World Taekowndo Federation, Mr. Koos Engelbrecht, president of CPISRA, and Mr. Nick Parr, executive director of INAS were all in attendance at the signing ceremony. Secretary General Jean-Marie Ayer, members of the WTF Council, several WTF Member National Association presidents and secretaries general, and members of various WTF committees all were witnesses to the ceremony.

“I am proud to announce that the WTF signed MOUs with the International Sport Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disability and the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association to work together to include new competitors and disciplines into Para-Taekwondo,” said President Chungwon Choue.

Para-taekwondo is fast becoming a popular sport globally and it is testament to how far the sport has spread since the inaugural World Championships in 2009 that the 59 medals handed out at the tournament were distributed amongst 20 different countries.”

 In the MOUs, the WTF and both organizations agreed

  • To conduct audits among its members to find out the interest for and number of athletes practicing Para-Taekwondo.
  • To cooperate for the establishment of specific classification and competition rules for Para-Taekwondo.
  • The WTF agrees to promote Para-Taekwondo for athletes with cerebral palsy or intellectual disabilities among its 204 Member National Associations.
  • Para-Taekwondo for athletes with cerebral palsy or intellectual disabilities should be included as an INAS- and CPISRA-promoted event in the 5th WTF Para-Taekwondo Championships to be held in 2014.
  • The WTF will actively work to fulfill all requirements to become a CPISRA and INAS members and recognized sport and to be included on the program of the World Games and Global Games.
  • CPISRA, INAS and WTF agree to work for the inclusion of Para-Taekwondo in the Paralympic Games.

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