RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Oct 18, 2023) – World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) was today awarded the ‘Combat Sport Initiative of the year’ at the Peace and Sport Awards 2023 in recognition of the impactful work in supporting underprivileged communities around the world.
This year’s Hope and Dreams Sports Festival organised by World Taekwondo and the THF received special praise as a best practice that deserves to be highlighted and recognised. The festival was held for the first time this year in Jordan on 25-27 February and gave refugees and displaced persons the opportunity to compete in Taekwondo and Baseball5 competitions.
The festival was organised by World Taekwondo and the THF in collaboration with the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) and took place in the Azraq Refugee Camp and Jordan’s capital Amman. Around 300 young refugee athletes of all age categories took part, including a refugee team from Afghanistan.
The Hope and Dreams Sports Festival is the culmination of World Taekwondo and the THF’s call to Olympic and non-Olympic sports in April 2018 to join hands in giving refugees and displaced persons opportunities to enjoy sport. The festival is a fantastic enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Olympic Agenda 2020+5.
Dr. Chungwon Choue, president of World Taekwondo and chair of the THF, said:
“We are very proud to have received this award in recognition of the work World Taekwondo and the THF are doing to support refugees and displaced persons around the world. It is fantastic to see so many other wonderful initiatives being undertaken by other combat sports and we commend all those who were shortlisted for this award.
“As the IOC President mentioned during the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai (India), the sport of Taekwondo is playing a leading role in helping the global refugee crisis.”
“I believe that we should not only keep within Taekwondo but espouse what our sport and all sports can bring to those who need it most. We believe strongly in the role that sport can play in inspiring hope and promoting peace. It is for that reason we have always been very open to working with other International Federations so we can reach as many people as possible. We started with United World Wrestling in 2019, and this initiative was further demonstrated during the Hope and Dreams Sports Festival when we partnered with the WBSC this year. I wish to thank them for their partnership. We hope we can collaborate with more sports in the future, with the 2024 Hope and Dreams Sports Festival as the platform to further develop the help we provide to refugees.”
The Peace and Sport Awards 2023 was held at the Cultural Palace of the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh on the occasion of the Peace and Sport Middle-East Forum ahead of the World Combat Games. The Combat Sport Award category aims to reward an initiative using combat sports towards a positive impact for communities, teaching values through sport.
In 2016, the World Taekwondo has been honored with ‘Federation of the Year’ at the Peace and Sports Awards 2016 which has made a valuable contribution to the development of social integration and peace through sport.