2016 promises to be an exciting year, but first, let me look back over the year 2015 to see what we achieved together – notably, the inclusion of taekwondo in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 and the creation of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation. Thanks to these initiatives, I am very proud to be part of the Taekwondo Family: We are doing the right things.
Turning to the ETU, we held some tremendous events in 2015, with the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
This means that – finally! – Europe has joined the other continents in holding its very own
continental multi-sport games. We also organized, for the first time, a European Championships featuring Olympic weight categories in Russia, and a European Kids Championships for our very young youngsters.
In addition, we saw major events in Turkey, Romania, Serbia and France.
In 2016 the Olympic Games presents a showcase for our best athletes and I am confident that this will be a milestone for European taekwondo. But not everyone is at this elite level. We continue to organize events for all athletes. We will hold events for Seniors, Clubs, Kids, Cadets and Under-21 athletes. And we will continue with our Coach Licensing program, via which we continue to educate and train our coaches. Also, we will host the inaugural WTF President’s Cup in Bonn, Germany.
On another point: In 1976, the ETU was founded so this year we celebrate our 40th anniversary. It will present us taekwondo old timers with the opportunity to look back and reminisce. But in the meantime, I am very excited to start 2016.
Happy new year!
President, European Taekwondo Union