The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has been nominated for International Sports Federation of the Year at the Peace and Sport International Forum in Sochi, Russia for the outstanding contribution to communities in developing nations made by its groundbreaking WTF Peace Corps initiative.
The WTF Peace Corps was founded in 2008 to help promote peace, understanding of cultures and Olympic values through taekwondo. The initiative operates in all five Olympic continents, with active involvement across the WTF’s 204 member national associations. To date, nearly 900 taekwondo volunteers have been dispatched to 174 locations in 86 countries.
The WTF President and founder of the WTF Taekwondo Peace Corps, Chungwon Choue, commented on the importance of the Foundation’s work:
“It is a real honor to be nominated for such a prestigious award, and the global taekwondo family should be proud to be recognized for the contribution we are making to the Olympic Movement. The WTF Peace Corps does some great work in providing resources for children to enjoy and play in communities where, sometimes, the chance to play is limited. The programme aims to teach understanding and friendship to the youth of the world through taekwondo training while, simultaneously, encouraging cultural exchange and bonds between different corners of the world.”
The next phase in the WTF Peace Corps’ development will be to create regional and local Taekwondo Peace Corps, in order to increase the frequency and reach of programmes and ensure each is finely tuned to the individual needs of communities in the developing world.
Jean-Marie Ayer, WTF Secretary General, said:
“The WTF has always been very active in promoting sport, healthy lifestyles and Olympism in the developing world, and over the last four years we have seen just what a powerful tool taekwondo can be. It is a sport with minimal equipment and space requirements, so our WTF Peace Corps volunteers can bring young people together even when there is little or no permanent sports infrastructure in place. That has helped the WTF take the Olympic values to some of the most deprived communities in the world.”
The WTF Peace Corps initiative was presented by President Choue to the UN-IOC Sport for Development and Peace Conference in Geneva in 2010. In response, the forum recommended “to commend the achievements of the WTF Peace Corps in its successful outreach to young people and its aims of building a better and more peaceful world; and to advocate the consideration of its global expansion, in close cooperation with key stakeholders, including the IOC, the UN, National and International Federations and NOCs, firmly believing that together, we have the ability to promote global peace and harmony through sport.”