World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue discussed the work of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) and sport’s role in promoting social development and peace during a SportWorks Talks webinar.
In excess of 700 people registered to participate in the webinar, which took place yesterday (September 17).
Choue said that his dedication to helping to promote peace can be traced back to his late father Dr Youngseek Choue.
In 1981, Youngseek Choue successfully proposed to the 36th United Nations General Assembly to recognise September 21 as the International Day of Peace.
Choue said that his father’s work inspired him to create the Taekwondo Peace Corps in 2009, which sees coaches and volunteers travel to developing countries to help young people and promote cross-cultural respect.
More than 2,000 volunteers have participated in the Taekwondo Peace Corps over the past decade.
Choue also serves as the chairman of the THF, which was formally established in 2016.
The THF has launched projects in Jordan, Niger, Turkey and Rwanda, while its flagship Humanitarian Taekwondo Centre is located at the Azraq camp in Jordan.
A total of 15 children have become black-belt holders in taekwondo since the establishment of the centre, with one on an Olympic Solidarity scholarship training for the Tokyo 2020.
Choue stressed that efforts to help achieve peace should be a responsibility of each International Federation.
"Sport has a powerful role to play in addressing such social issues," Choue said.
"Through taekwondo, we promote values such as inclusiveness, respect, tolerance, courtesy, and integrity.
"On the mat, we are competitors but we play fair.
"Off the mat, we are friends.
"The children we have reached had no place to call their home, and some of them witnessed war and tragedy.
"They had lost hope and dreams but through taekwondo, they found a way to be inspired again.
"Achieving peace is not just for World Taekwondo, but it is a responsibility of every International Sports Federation in the Olympic and Paralympic family."
Choue also spoke about the Taekwondo Cares sport for development programme, with the grassroots development and support initiative aiding World Taekwondo’s 210 member national associations.
World Taekwondo recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for its Great Champion Scholarship to help Lebanese children impacted by the devastating explosion in Beirut last month.
More than $10,000 (£7,720/€8,400) has been raised to assist children with their tuition and taekwondo fees, while a further $30,000 (£23,000/€25,000) was raised in collaboration with the Asian Development Foundation to aid recovery efforts in the city.