© D.r Chungwon Choue President (WTU)
Dear World Taekwondo family,
Happy New Year to you all!
We enter into 2021with a renewed sense of optimism and hope for the future.
There is no doubt that 2020 was a very challenging year for all of us. But because of the work we all did together we are well placed to emerge stronger than before; and that is precisely what we will do!
Before we look forward to what we believe will be a very exciting year, we must pay our respects to those we lost in 2020. The taekwondo family is still coming to terms with the passing of General Ahmed Fouly, Vice President of World Taekwondo and President of Taekwondo Africa. He will never be forgotten and we will honour his legacy by continuing to advance taekwondo. We would also like to honour the distinguished, late Taekwondo grandmasters who dedicated their lives to the development of taekwondo worldwide, especially at the grassroots level.
If there was one benefit of 2020, it was that it reminded us about what is most important: our health, our family, and our friends.
It was in the interests of everyone’s health that we postponed or cancelled almost all of our World Taekwondo events from March to the end of 2020. While this was a great disappointment to us, our athletes, and our fans, it did not prevent us from moving forward. When our events restart in 2021, I can assure our stakeholders that they will be held in the safest possible environment after the comprehensive preparations that we have made over the past months.
We used this absence of events this year as an opportunity to reset and reassess the support we are providing our taekwondo family. Our athletes continued to inspire and bring us joy with their home workouts and social media campaigns. They reminded the world that no matter the restrictions in place nothing could stop people from keeping active and practising taekwondo.
Using videoconferencing technology we hosted several Council meetings, more than 90 Committee calls, and around 70 education courses for coaches, referees, educators and technical delegates. These virtual meetings allowed us to enhance our efficiency and minimise costs and have showcased a new way of working which we will maintain after the pandemic is over.
We held our first ever virtual Council meeting in May 2020, which was supposed to be hosted in the Olympic House in Lausanne at the invitation of the IOC President Thomas Bach. The IOC President praised World Taekwondo for our “impressive track-record of modernising [our] sport and important humanitarian work.” We stand in solidarity with the IOC in emerging stronger together for the post-pandemic world.
World Taekwondo also organised its first-ever virtual General Assembly which was attended by a total of 137 MNAs and 29 Council members; making it our largest-ever non-elective General Assembly. Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti, joined the General Assembly and praised World Taekwondo for the huge improvement it has made in good governance and how it serves as a role model for other International Federations of its size.
In the spirit of keeping active and providing equal access to sport, online poomsae events were organised in many countries. World Taekwondo hosted its first-ever Online World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in November which was open to families and saw more than 1,565 registrations from 98 countries. We also saw refugees participating from their camps which was a true inspiration. Following the success of these online events we will be introducing seasonal Online World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships – one for each season, as part of our initiatives to promote physical activity to the grassroots and contribute to a healthy society.
Our commitment to promoting gender equality continued as we hosted the 1st World Taekwondo Gender Equity and Women Leadership Forum in partnership with the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee. Among the notable speakers, including athletes and Council Members, was the IOC President who praised the initiative and provided his support.
In 2020, we even launched a partnership with one of the world’s most popular children’s TV show – PJ Masks – as we continue to identify innovative ways of promoting our sport to young people around the world. I believe that this partnership is especially important, as the ongoing pandemic has kept children and young people from being able to engage in physical activity in many countries.
I am also happy to announce that taekwondo has been included in the sports programme of the European Games to be held in Kraków-Małopolska in 2023. This is a fantastic achievement!
It is because of all our collective efforts and great work in 2020 that we enter 2021 with the strong belief that this will be the start of another successful decade for World Taekwondo.
We have so much to look forward to!
We cannot look past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are so excited to see our Olympians compete again and of course, watch our Paralympians make history as Para Taekwondo is included at a Paralympic Games for the first time. This will be a very special moment for us all. We would like to thank the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee, and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for their continued leadership in preparing for safe Games.
But 2021 will also mark the return of our beloved World Taekwondo events, as well as some exciting new ones. In October we will host the World Taekwondo Championships in Wuxi, China, which we hope will see more participating countries than ever before. Before the Championships, the Peace and Sport Forum will also be held in Wuxi.
We are planning the 1st World Taekwondo Open Women’s Taekwondo Championship in Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of online events such as the seasonal World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, and the World Taekwondo Super Talent Show. Plus we are creating the World Taekwondo Grand Prix Challenge which we hope to organise before the Tokyo Olympic Games, in Taekwondowon in Muju. We will also organise the 2nd World Taekwondo Gender Equity and Women Leadership Forum in March.
We hope that these digital innovations and expanding portfolio of meaningful events will expand taekwondo’s global outreach and move us closer to realising our full potential.
Ultimately, my vision for World Taekwondo is to be one of the most sustainable and respected International Federations. We will achieve this by contributing not only to the development of taekwondo worldwide and protecting the interests of our stakeholders especially our athletes; but also by being a leader in contributing to humankind and the Sustainable Development Goals.
After all, this year will be the 48th anniversary of our federation’s founding and in two years’ time in 2023, we will celebrate 50 years of World Taekwondo – our Golden Jubilee.
We want to ensure we are continually evolving and adapting for the benefit of our sport and we will present our Sustainability Strategy for 2021 to 2030 to the General Assembly. This strategy will put sustainability at the heart of World Taekwondo and bring far-reaching benefits to our whole family.
We are also working towards our ambition of becoming one of the best governed International Federations and have committed to working with all our stakeholders, including Continental Unions and Member National Associations, to ensure good governance at every level of our sport.
So dear friends, we have much to be proud of but we also have much to do. As ever, we know we are strongest together and that it is only through teamwork and collective effort that we will reach our goals. Thanks to all your hardwork I have every confidence we can, and will, achieve great things in 2021.
Yours in taekwondo, Sincerely yours,
Chungwon Choue President
존경하는 전 세계 태권도 가족 여러분,
2021년 신축년(辛丑年)새해가 밝았습니다.
2020년은 우리 모두에게 전례없이 힘든 한 해였습니다. 전 세계적으로 코로나19로 인해 국제스포츠계 또한 올림픽을 비롯한 거의 모든 국제 행사가 연기 또는 취소되는 극심한 어려움을 겪고있는 가운데 세계태권도연맹(World Taekwondo, WT)은 잠시 모든 것을 원점에서 되돌아 보는 ‘리셋’(reset)의 시간을 가지게 되었습니다.
기존의 오프라인 교육의 단점인 시공간적인 제약을 받지 않는 온라인 교육을 더욱 확장해 WT 산하 210개 회원국 지도자 및 심판 교육을 강화하고 모든 국제회의를 화상으로 진행하는 등 ‘뉴노멀’을 선제적으로 도입해 변화와 혁신을 더욱 가속한 한 해였습니다. 특히 WT 창설 이후 역사상 처음 정기 총회를 화상으로 개최했습니다. 이번 화상총회는 전 세계 WT 210개 회원국 중 137개 국가협회와 29명의 집행위원이 참석해, 역대 선거가 없는 총회 중 가장 높은 참가국 수를 기록했습니다.
또한 WT의 첫 비대면 품새선수권대회인 ‘온라인 2020 세계태권도 품새선수권대회’는 전 세계 98개국에서 1,500여 명의 선수가 출전해 성황리에 막을 내렸습니다. 온라인 품새대회가 코로나19의 대안으로 시간과 장소의 제약없이 전 세계인들의 참가가 가능해 올해부터는 분기별로 대회를 확대할 예정입니다.
WT는 지난 6월 ‘하계올림픽종목국제연맹총연합회’(ASOIF)가 발표한 ‘굿 거버넌스 지표’에서 지난 시즌 평가보다 한 단계 올라간 A2 등급을 받았습니다. ASOIF 평가 5대 지표인 투명성, 신뢰성, 민주성, 스포츠 개발 및 화합과 협력, 그리고 컨트롤 메커니즘 분야에서 골고루 높은 평가를 받았으며, 특히 투명성 부분에서 큰 점수를 얻었습니다. WT는 그동안 외부 전문가들을 각 분과위원회 위원장과 위원에 임명하고 필요한 정책과 대안을 끊임없이 모색하며 재정 투명성 및 사업 지속성을 높이고 있습니다.
아울러 WT는 국제경기연맹 중 처음으로 전 세계 난민과 불우 청소년을 돕기 위한 태권도박애재단을 설립하고 WT자체 ‘태권도 케어스’프로그램을 만들어 저개발국 소외계층 어린이를 지원하는 등 인류사회에 대한 사회적 책임을 다하고자 노력해 왔으며 국제스포츠계가 WT의 이러한 노력을 인정하고 있습니다. 하지만 우리는 여기에 안주하지 않고 모범적인 국제연맹으로 굳건히 자리매김하기 위해 끊임없이 변화 발전해 나갈 것입니다.
태권도 저변 확대를 위해 세계적 인기 애니메이션 PJ 마스크, 한국 명 ‘출동 파자마 삼총사’와 파트너십을 체결해 전 세계 어린이들이 태권도를 쉽게 접근하고 배울 수 있도록 도와주면서 태권도의 가치를 알려주는 기회의 장도 마련했습니다.
최근 태권도가 폴란드 크라쿠프-마워폴스카에서 열리는 ‘2023유러피안게임’에 정식종목으로 재진입한 기쁜 소식이 있었습니다. 재진입을 위해 수년간 물심양면 노력해준 유럽태권도연맹과 유럽지역 WT 집행위원들의 노고에 깊은 감사를 드립니다.
이런한 성과는 전 세계 태권도 가족 여러분들의 변함없는 관심과 성원으로 함께 이뤄낸 것입니다. 이 자리를 빌어서 다시 한번 감사드립니다.
2021년은 도쿄하계올림픽과 장애인올림픽이 열리는 해입니다. 특히 장애인올림픽에 태권도가 처음 정식종목으로 치러지는 뜻깊은 해입니다. 첫 선을 보이는 장애인올림픽 태권도 경기에도 많은 애정과 격려 부탁드립니다.
오는 10월 중국 우시에서 세계태권도선수권대회가 열립니다. 이 대회에 최대의 WT 회원국들이 참가할 것으로 기대되며, 대회 직전 ‘평화와 스포츠’ 주제의 국제포럼도 계획되어 있습니다.
2021년 WT는 분기별 온라인 태권도품새선수권대회, 월드태권도 ‘슈퍼탤런트쇼’와 같은 많은 온라인 행사를 계획하고 있으며, 도쿄올림픽을 앞두고 ‘월드태권도 그랑프리챌린지 대회’도 개최할 예정입니다.
이러한 다양한 변화와 혁신을 통해 끊임없이 발전하는 한해가 될 것으로 기대합니다.
다시 한번, 2021년 전 세계 태권도 가족 여러분 모두에게 행운과 건강이 함께하시고 하시는 모든 일이 번창하기를 기원합니다.
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