BANGKOK, Thailand (July 27, 2019) – World Taekwondo (WT), the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) and International Federation Muaythai Associations (IFMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing the three parties to cooperate in the promotion of humanitarian and peace-building initiatives on July 27, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The MoU was signed by WT and THF President Chungwon Choue and IFMA President Sakchye Tapsuan during the IFMA General Assembly in Bangkok.
Ms. Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, IOC Member of Thailand and Dr. Gongsak Yodmanee, Governor of Sports Authority of Thailand were in presence. Just ahead of the signing ceremony, President Choue addressed the General Assembly and provided details of the work WT and the THF have done for refugee camps in countries around the world and also recognized the excellent work of IFMA currently underway for the empowerment of young refugees.
Under the terms of the MoU, the three organisations have committed to develop close collaboration in promoting sport as a powerful vehicle towards peace, social development and integration of vulnerable populations, uniting forces in offering sport for development and peace activities in the geographical areas where THF, WT and IFMA are already providing services, as well as potentially other locations worldwide, whilst exchanging and sharing expertise and information.
World Taekwondo President Choue said:
“The IFMA organisation, under the visionary leadership of their President Sakchye Tapsuan, has done excellent work in supporting young refugees, particularly in Thailand. They share many of the same values as World Taekwondo and the THF and so we are delighted to be partnering with them to further strengthen the support we are providing refugees all around the world. We have made it clear that we believe all sports organisations can play a major role in addressing this refugee crisis. We want to work with as many organisations as possible to ensure that young refugees have easy access to a broad range of sports and benefit from the lessons and values they instil.”
IFMA President Sakchye Tapsuan added:
“ With every initiative we undertake, our focus is on forming alliances and using the resources we have to work towards united goals under the Olympic charter. We are very much looking forward to joining forces with WT and THF under the ever-dedicated President Choue, to whom I have utmost respect. Currently, we have a multi-sport tournament in the heart of Bangkok and each month we bring refugee and migrant youths from the north of Thailand and give them an opportunity to engage in a healthy lifestyle bolstering their well being, as well as providing an inclusive environment. I believe in the power of the sports platform and believe every child deserves a chance on the playing field of life. “
The MoU signing took place the day before the Bangkok Urban Youth Tournament (“BUYT”) which is a by-product of the 2018 Bangkok SportAccord Convention and United Through Sports Festival. BUYT gives young people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, make new friends and encourages a healthy and active lifestyle. The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team members were invited to perform at the two demonstrations, one during the BUYT at Lan Muay Kru Suar and IFMA World Championships at the Sport Authority of Thailand which takes place on 20-29 July.