November 24 - The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) to promote the sport for athletes with a visual impairment, it has been announced.
The memorandum was signed between WTF President Chungwon Choue and IBSA chief Jannie Hammershoi here during the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) General Assembly.
The two sides also agreed that the 5th WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships in 2014 will include poomsae competitions for athletes with a visual impairment and will be officially recognized by the IBSA.
This marks the latest of Para-taekwondo widening its appeal following the announcement that it will be a demonstration sport at the 2015 International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) Global Games in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
After failing to be added to the programme for Rio 2016, taekwondo is one several sports currently vying to be added in time for Tokyo 2020 and it is hoped that the extra inclusivity ensured by these partnerships should increase its chances of success.
This was something implied by WTF President Choue when he spoke after the signing the of the latest MoU.
"We are happy to have signed an MoU with the IBSA and look forward to learning from their expertise in how to best serve athletes with a visual impairment," he said.
"The hope that taekwondo brings is limitless.
"It knows no boundaries and it does not favour any gender or discriminate against age, ability, religion or sexual orientation.
"Taekwondo truly is a sport accessible to all and one which inspires and empowers anyone who experiences it."
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November 2012: "If Para-Taekwondo gets into the Paralympics all my dreams will have come true," proclaims WTF President Choue