WTF Holds 27th General Assembly in Burnaby, Canada



BURNABY, Canada (Nov. 15, 2016) – On the eve of the 2016 World Taekwondo Junior Championships, the WTF held its 27th General Assembly at the Delta Hotel Burnaby Conference Center.

WTF President Chungwon Choue first thanked Taekwondo Canada, the Organizing Committee of the 2016 World Taekwondo Junior Championships and Tourism Burnaby for their efforts; Burnaby is the host of the 2016 World Taekwondo Junior Championships, which run from Nov. 16-20, 2016. With 846 athletes and 102 countries represented, it is the biggest World Junior Championships ever.

Choue then introduced Member National Association presidents who had been elected since the last general assembly, in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2015. Noting the success of the Rio 2016 Olympics, he announced that two taekwondo athletes, Jordan’s Ahmad Abughaush and Cote d’Ivorie’s Cheick Sallah Cisse had just been honored at the ANOC Awards 2016, held in Doha, Qatar.

Choue briefed attendees on ongoing humanitarian efforts. The city of Burnaby and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, or THF, will sign an MOU on jointly assisting refugees.

And China-based Huamin Charity Foundation has pledged the THF USD200,000 each year, over the next three years, to fund the THF’s refugee-empowerment activities in Jordan, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Members of the Burnaby OC were then awarded commemorative plaques.

The first agenda items were the approval of minutes from the previous General Assembly. WTF Auditor Ali Sagirkaya asked attendees to approve the WTF’s Financial Report and Auditor’s Report. Both were approved. The Operation Report was also approved.

Mark Kauffman, Sports Manager of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games OC, presented an overview. Taekwondo sold 93 percent of its tickets and there were no delays over four days of competition. The field of play was clear, and taekwondo was congratulated by other sports for using only one court. The WTF Demonstration Team and Brazilian samba troupes added colour and excitement in match downtime. The legacy of Rio taekwondo is transfer of skills, technologies and equipment, so upgrading Brazilian sport management.  Kauffman also presented key learnings for future Olympics.

Amendment proposals to WTF statutes, notably related to technical updates, and material changes that require actions by members or MNAs, which had been discussed by the WTF Council over three different meetings, were presented.

One change proposed is that, given the size of the WTF, its Expansion Committee is no longer necessary. An Executive Body will replace it, to advise the WTF at the highest level

MNAs were also required to adopt, or prepare a road map for the adoption of the digital Global Membership System (GMS). MNAs must also complete annual WTF member surveys. Another alteration is for the promotion of para taekwondo by MNAs. MNAs must also adopt dispute resolution mechanisms. All proposals were passed. The full text of the revised statutes will be posted on the WTF website in due course.

The next item was an amendment proposal on WTF Competition Rules and Interpretations presented by WTF Director General Jin-bang Yang. A range of changes were proposed on point scoring, penalties and the “golden point” round. All proposals were approved. The new rules will be tentatively applied from January 2017; full application will become effective at the World Championships in June. Given the importance of these rule changes, please see a separate story (Taekwondo Competition Rules Altered to Make Sport ‘Dazzle and Excite’) on this website. Moreover, a revised Competition Rules & Interpretation will be posted on the WTF website in due course.

Changes were also proposed and passed for the WTF Para Taekwondo and Deaf-Taekwondo Classification Rules and Regulations. All were passed.

Enactments were proposed for para taekwondo competition and poomsae competition, with the aim of making the competitions both safer and more exciting. WTF Council Member Koos Engelbrecht briefed on para taekwondo, with an emphasis on the procedures for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. He also gave guidelines on how MNAs should implement para taekwondo programs and updated the assembly on upcoming para tournaments in the run-up to Tokyo 2020

WTF Deputy Secretary General Sook-jae Kang and Delphine Schmutz of the THF presented on the vision, progress and the plans of the World Taekwondo Cares Program and the THF. At Burnaby, the THF will inaugurate the “THF Challenge”  – a viral, broad-breaking campaign – as a global fund-raising initiative.

In the final business, Choue announced that Djibouti was made a new member of the WTF, giving the federation 207 members worldwide. The next General Assembly will be held on June 23, 2017, in Muju, Korea.