A spectacular display of taekwondo by refugee athletes featured on the last day of the Hopes and Dreams Sports Festival ©ITG

World Taekwondo’s Hopes and Dreams Sports Festival concluded with the Refugee Taekwondo Championships here.

The second edition of the Festival proved an expansion on last year’s, with around 300 refugee athletes taking part.

World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue, the founder and chair of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), was again joined by the head of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Riccardo Fraccari and Association of Summer Olympic International Federations chief Francesco Ricci Bitti.

Representatives from the United Nations Refugee Agency were also present.

Cadet and junior competitions featured at the Refugee Taekwondo Championships, followed by a ceremony including a spectacular taekwondo display by young athletes, who impressed those in attendance with their drills and techniques.

Four show games were then staged, followed by a demonstration of baseball5.

Baseball5 is a mixed-gender format of the sport requiring only a ball to play, and is on the programme for the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.

A baseball5 demonstration game featured after taekwondo competitions at the Refugee Championships ©ITG
A baseball5 demonstration game featured after taekwondo competitions at the Refugee Championships ©ITG

South Korean official Choue emphasised the importance of the Festival in the THF's work.

"We are delighted to have hosted this Hopes and Dreams Sports Festival in partnership with the WBSC," he said.

"We have always been clear that our commitment to empowering refugees goes beyond taekwondo and that we want to partner with other sports to expand the opportunities we are providing to those who need it most.

"By implementing such humanitarian efforts, World Taekwondo plans to elevate taekwondo's status from a widely watched and enjoyed world sport to one that makes social contributions and spreads the message of peace worldwide."

Fraccari argued that the Hopes and Dreams Sports Festival had showcased baseball5's potential.

"I am proud and enthusiastic to have been able to attend the inaugural Hopes and Dreams Sports Festival in Jordan and witness first-hand how Baseball5 can be an excellent tool to promote inclusivity and team building, especially in under privileged communities, as well as seeing how important sport in general is in combating social inequality and promoting peace, well-being and social inclusion," the Italian official said.

"Sport is so much more than just a game, it teaches fundamental skills and principles that are critical to becoming a good global citizen.

"The WBSC believes that all should have access to sport, no matter their background, so we remain fully committed to continuing our partnership with the THF and World Taekwondo to provide opportunities for displaced people through sport."

His compatriot Ricci Bitti reiterated the praise for World Taekwondo and WBSC's collaboration efforts.

The Festival began on Saturday (February 25) at the Humanitarian Sports Center, located at the Azraq Refugee Camp.