The World Taekwondo Federation Demonstration Team put a smile on the faces of many refugees near their camp in Rome, Italy. The team gave the refugees a class in Taekwondo and mingled with them for a day. The event ended with thunderous applause and photos were taken to savor the moment.
The WTF President delivered a few words of encouragement, “Many African nations won medals in the recent Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Going forward, the WTF aims to provide refugee athletes with the chance to compete in major championships.”
In April this year, the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation and the WTF have embarked on a mission to empower refugees with martial arts and sport. They are sponsoring a Taekwondo facility and classes near a camp in Jordan that houses mainly Syrian refugees.
The WTF Demonstration Team is currently touring Italy. On the 5th of October, the team had their first ever Global Conference on Faith and Sport – where they preformed before Pope Francis in Vatican City. The guest list included some of the most influential people on this planet, namely: Pope Francis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and IOC President Thomas Bach.
Kang Hyeon Wook had this to say prior to the taekwondo demonstration:
“The THF send taekwondo instructors to the places worldwide such as Jordan where refugees are located and Nepal after the earthquake. Through taekwondo people do not get only physical benefits, but they also learn good manners, self-control and perseverance. All those values are the core of sport and life. However, the most valuable aspect of taekwondo is giving the smile to the people, especially on the children’s face.”
Indeed, as far as we can see, the THF have made a positive impact already in Rome and we eagerly anticipate taekwondo in Jordan that will put more smiles on the faces of those that have experienced the greatest hardships.