IN the lead-up to Malaysia’s first ever international G-ranked taekwondo tournament, Taekwondo Malaysia will be hosting a nationwide series of fun run events to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.
Both events were announced by Taekwondo Malaysia president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran at the Signature International Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
To take place from Feb 23 to 25, the World Taekwondo Malaysia Humanitarian and Refugee Run 2018 will see taekwondo associations from each state holding simultaneous runs across the country to raise awareness and donations.
Donations raised from the events will go towards the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation that is based in Switzerland – an initiative spearheaded by World Taekwondo president Dr Choue Chung Won.
According to Vigneswaran, there are some 65 million refugees in the world today who have no country that they can call their own, and the foundation has been working hard to create opportunities for refugees through the sport of taekwondo.
“Inspired by the slogan ‘Empowerment, Care and Share’, this event fits well with our nation’s own concern and commitment to the global plight of refugees,” said Vigneswaran.
Also present at the press conference was Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, who praised Taekwondo Malaysia for taking such an initiative.
“All this while, Malaysia has been looking at sheltering refugees from various parts of the world.
“But now, we are going beyond that and looking at empowering them and showing that we care for them,” said Saravanan.
The fun runs being held nationwide will be for distances between 3km and 6km, and Taekwondo Malaysia is hoping to attract thousands of people to take part in the runs.
From March 1 to 4, the country will host the first ever G-ranked taekwondo tournament in South- East Asia, in which exponents from 25 countries will be vying for points that count towards their international ranking and Olympic Games qualification.
The World Taekwondo Malaysia Open G1 Championship 2018 will be held at Putrajaya International Convention Centre and will feature 17 categories.
Men and women have six categories each in kyorugi (sparring) events, with another five categories in poomsae (non-sparring) events.
At the press conference, Vigneswaran also said Taekwondo Malaysia was planning to follow up on the idea by Dr Choue to build a taekwondo academy in Malaysia, which will also be the first of its kind in South-East Asia.