USA Taekwondo has partnered with the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) and United States Collegiate Taekwondo by joining a task force aimed at getting the sport included on an Emerging Sports for Women Programme.
The trio have come together to help taekwondo join the scheme, run by the non-profit organisation the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
USA Taekwondo claim the task force, made up of 10 officials from the relevant bodies which will be chaired by Arlene Limas, who won the welterweight event when taekwondo was a demonstration sport at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, will make a "compelling case" for the sport’s inclusion in the initiative.
"I personally benefited greatly from competing at the collegiate level," Limas said.
"I am hugely excited to be a part of this new initiative and if we can set a path for our young high school age athletes to compete and receive recognition while pursuing higher education that will be a big plus both for our sport and our athletes."
The task force’s first step is to seek input from NCAA Presidents and other officials, before they prepare a proposal to be put to the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics.
The NCAA describe an "emerging sport" as "a women’s sport recognised by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions".
"We are very excited about supporting female athletes in their quest to join the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women Programme," USA Taekwondo executive director Keith Ferguson, who is a member of the task force, said.
"Each organisation is full of talented and passionate people who, working together, give this project a real chance of success.
"As the National Governing Body, we are committed to supporting this project, and we will do everything we can to further the cause of taekwondo in the United States, along with our partners in this very worthwhile project."