November 2 - The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has made the shortlist for the International Sports Federation of the Year award at the Peace and Sport International Forum in Sochi for the outstanding contribution to communities in developing nations made by its global Peace Corps initiative.
Founded in 2008, the WTF Peace Corps promotes peace, understanding of cultures and Olympic values across the globe through taekwondo – to date nearly 900 taekwondo volunteers have been dispatched to 174 locations in 86 countries.
"It is a real honour to be nominated for such a prestigious award, and the global taekwondo family should be proud to be recognised for the contribution we are making to the Olympic Movement," said Chung Won Choue, WTF President and founder of the Peace Corps.
"The WTF Peace Corps does some brilliant 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 whilst, simultaneously, encouraging cultural exchange and bonds between different corners of the world."
Choue presented the initiative to the United Nations (UN) International Olympic Committee (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".
The WTF Peace Corps is currently working to develop regional and local Taekwondo Peace Corps to increase the frequency and reach of programmes and ensure each is finely tuned to the individual needs of communities in the developing world.
WTF secretary general Jean-Marie Ayer, added: "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."
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