[By NBC-1TV H. J Yook]KATHMANDU, Nepal (February 4, 2016) - The president of Nepal has praised taekwondo and the World Taekwondo Federation's humanitarian work during a meeting with a visiting WTF delegation.
"Taekwondo is a very popular sport in our country,” said Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. “Taekwondo is not only a sport, but also it is education, which helps form a new well-disciplined generation.”
She made the remarks during a meeting with WTF President Chungwon Choue and other ranking WTF officials at the presidential office in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on February 4, 2016.
The meeting took place on the final day of the WTF's week-long fact-finding mission in Nepal as part of its Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) pilot project and the WTF's Nepal earthquake relief program.
The WTF is currently establishing the THF in Lausanne, Switzerland, and with the establishment, as early as late this month, a full-swing THF work will take place in Nepal to help assist the nation with its earthquake relief programs through taekwondo.
The WTF delegation, accompanied by a 15-member WTF Demonstration Team, arrived in Nepal on Jan. 29 for a seven-day visit. The delegation, which included presidents of the WTF Continental Taekwondo Unions, held meetings with high-ranking officials as well as with Nepalese from all walks of life. They also visited earthquake-hit areas and attended an inaugural ceremony for the THF pilot project.
The Nepali president thanked Choue for THF moves to help resolve the global refugee crisis. "I think the global migration issue, which has hit Europe hard, will soon affect South Asia,” she said. “In this regard, the WTF's Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation project will be very helpful."
During their meeting, Choue asked her to support taekwondo adoption as a national sport. Nepal is currently assessing taekwondo, volleyball and cricket in order to choose a national sport, which will be taught in schools as a compulsory subject.
Choue suggested that taekwondo might offer Nepal the best opportunity to win laurels in international sporting competitions. He also briefed the Nepali president on plans to operate a THF program in Nepal to assist some of the hundreds of thousands of children displaced by the devastating 2015 earthquakes.
Choue then presented the Nepali president with an honorary ninth-degree black belt and a taekwondo uniform, as well as a WTF 40th anniversary history book and a special gift: a replica of an ancient Korean incense burner.
“We had a very successful THF pilot project here in Nepal,” said Choue. “The project will soon be in full swing, assisting earthquake victims - especially children.”
Three THF refugee pilot programs are already underway at two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, and one in Turkey. The WTF’s creation of the THF is in line with the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Agenda 2020 and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
A day earlier on Feb. 3, the WTF delegation visited the Nepal National Police Academy to watch a taekwondo demonstration by the WTF Demonstration Team together with senior police officers.
On the same day, the WTF delegation met with Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, former prime minister and chairman of the United Nepal Communist Party, to exchange opinions on how to further develop taekwondo in Nepal.
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