Master Adrian Tranter (Chairman of BTCB and Commonwealth Taekwondo Union), Master Ross Hartnett (former CTU president) and Dr William Darlington (BTCB Vice-chairman and CTU Secretary-General) have been working since 2002 to get Taekwondo into the Commonwealth Games.
As part of that process, the CTU held two successful Commonwealth Championships (Brisbane, 2006; Winnipeg, 2008) with a third planned in Chennai, India, in January 2011. The CTU met Commonwealth Games Federation officials in 2004 and sent a delegation to the WTF in 2005. The WTF President and Secretary-General were very supportive of the project. In January 2010, the WTF submitted its bid for inclusion in the Games. The CTU assisted with improving the bid application.
The WTF sent four delegates (Mr Philippe Bouedo, Chairman, WTF Games Committee; Dr William Darlington, CTU Secretary-General; Mr Usman Dildar, UK Coordinator, WTF; Mr Anthony Ferguson, President, Caribbean Taekwondo Federation) to a meeting of the CGF Sport Committee in London, on Monday 7th June.
As part of the application, Dr Darlington produced and delivered the main part of the WTF presentation, which had the CGF panel entertained as well as informed.
All the team members contributed. Mr Dildar, for example, effectively addressed CGF concerns about gender equality by pointing out that Taekwondo is the only sport where Iran sends a full female team!
As a result, on 14th June, the WTF received word from Mr Mike Hooper, Chief Executive Officer of the CGF, that Taekwondo is now a Category 2 Commonwealth Games sport!
At the moment, only kyorugi has been accepted but the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships, the World University Summer Games and the World University Taekwondo Championships all feature poomsae so the next step is to campaign for poomsae too.
Category 1 (compulsory) sports (Athletics, Swimming, Badminton, Boxing, Field Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Squash, Rugby Sevens and Weightlifting) are included in all Games.
Taekwondo skipped Category 3 (developing sport) and jumped straight to Category 2 (optional sports) to join Archery, Basketball, Cycling, Diving, Gymnastics, Judo, Shooting, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon and Wrestling. Host cities can choose up to seven Category 2 sports for any Games.
The events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have already been decided, but in Glasgow, we will be in an ideal position to lobby the next host city. The two bidding cities for 2018 are Gold Coast (Australia) and Hambantota (Sri Lanka) and Taekwondo is popular in both countries…!
Master Ernest Garcia, BTCB Gibraltar Chairman is delighted with the news, as this is an additional step for our athletes to compete at International level.
BTCB Gibraltar would like to congratulate the CTU committee for this successful achievement.
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