WTF proposes creation of ‘Sports Peace Corps’

WTF proposes creation of ‘Sports Peace Corps’
Under the topic “Proliferation of Peace through Sport,” World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Choue Chung-won makes a presentation on the WTF Taekwondo Peace Corps for the participants in the U.N.-IOC Forum at the Olympic Museum Auditorium in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday. At the two-day forum, Choue proposed the creation of the so-called “Sports Peace Corps,” together with the U.N., the IOC, and International Sports Federations.
/ Courtesy of WTF
By Yi Whan-woo
Korea Times intern

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Choue Chung-won proposed creation of the so-called “Sports Peace Corps,” with the world organizations such as the United Nations (U.N.) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) to achieve peace and harmony around the world, in a U.N.-IOC forum held in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday.

Choue’s suggestion is based on the thought that sports could be effective tools to bring people together, which he saw from the success of the WTF Taekwondo Peace Corps. The program initiated in 2008 and brought a positive response from the youth around the world by providing chance to learn the spirit of the sport.

“The weight of sport as a catalyst for peace and harmony can never be underestimated. Sport has the power to bring people together, bridge difference, and promote communication and understanding,” Choue said in his speech.

“More than anything else, the world needs dreams to dream and goals to reach for. Taekwondo and the WTF are doing their parts to bring these dreams. But more can be done. The United Nations and the IOC together with International Federations can build a coalition, a Sport Peace Corps to deliver all of these things,” the WTF president asserted.

The idea of the Crops is to implement comprehensive sport-related assistance to any areas which the U.N. could reach, including the underdeveloped countries.

Choue explained that the new organization would offer assistance including providing equipment, skills and training for local athletes and coaches for any Olympic sport in countries in need.

As of 2009, a total of 207 members of the Taekwondo Peace Corps were dispatched to 35 countries to teach culture and virtues of taekwondo, each team comprising of four college athletes of the sport, three taekwondo masters, and an interpreter. Each team carried educational packages, training booklets, CDs, uniforms to the region they were sent to.

In order to reach the goal, Choue suggested the close collaboration among the sport-related organizations such as National Olympic Committees, International Federations, non-governmental organizations, sports industries and the U.N. institutions.

The participants at the forum, such as influential international sports figure including IOC President Jacques Rogge, commended on the achievements of the WTF in its successful outreach to young people and its aims of building a better and more peaceful world.

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