The World Taekwondo Federation’s pledge to increase the number of elite-level international para-taekwondo events was strengthened this week with the news that the sport will take part in the 2015 IWAS World Games in Sochi. The International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) announced that para-taekwondo will join archery, arm-wrestling, athletics, swimming and table tennis at the 2015 IWAS World Games held in this year’s host of the Winter Paralympic Games.
The 2013 IWAS World Games in Stadskanaal, Netherlands, attracted 230 athletes from 26 countries and the WTF will be looking to maximise the exposure of para-taekwondo through its involvement in the event.
The WTF is already implementing a number of programmes designed to maximise the sport’s worldwide reach and tap into the sport’s existing global popularity. The WTF Development Fund allows the WTF’s 206 national federations to apply for development funding, with special funds specifically allocated for increasing female and youth participation. The WTF has also identified inclusion in major multi-sport events, such as the IWAS World Games, as a top priority both to increase participation and strengthen the sport’s programme of competitions.
Speaking following the announcement, WTF President Chungwon Choue said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have been included on the sports programme for the2015 IWAS World Games. We have been working very closely with IWAS since we signed an MOU with them during the Sochi Paralympic Games and had the honour of being part of the IWAS World Junior Games this year. We believe that our inclusion in the Games is not just a reflection of the significant advancements that we have made but also a testament to the belief IWAS has in us that we will continue to develop to provide the very best opportunities for amputee athletes.
“The WTF’s involvement in the IWAS World Games will act as a catalyst for further growth by motivating existing athletes as well as providing inspiration and encouragement for people with impairments to participate in our universally accessible sport. If we have the honour of being included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Programme we hope that the IWAS World Games will become an integral part of our quadrennial programme providing qualification opportunities for our athletes.”