The opening ceremony of World Taekwondo (WT) Cares projects for Sri Lanka was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on January 25, 2020, with the attendance of WT President Chungwon Choue
Under the theme “Road to Champions,” the Sri Lanka WT Cares Program started in early July 2019 for a one-year period, with the aim of empowering destitute children in Sri Lanka.
The 2019-2020 WT Cares project benefits 60 male homeless children in Colombo and 23 street females in Kegalle. The Sri Lanka program is jointly supported by WT and the Asia Development Foundation (ADF). Under agreement, the Sri Lanka Taekwondo Federation carries out the Sri Lanka Cares projects.
With the financial support of the ADF, WT now carries out one-year Cares projects in Nepal, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. WT plans to expand the Cares projects to Mongolia and Indonesia in 2020.
The opening ceremony, which took place at the Indoor Stadium of Kelaniya University, drew hundreds of people, including all the 83 students of the Sri Lanka Cares project, and all the taekwondo medalists at the 2019 South Asian Games.
The ceremony featured a special taekwondo demonstration by all the 83 students of the Sri Lanka WT Cares projects.
During the ceremony, one male and one female student of the WT Cares program make presentations on their taekwondo experience, both appreciating WT for the Cares program.
During the ceremony, WT President Choue presented a WT appreciation plaque and a taekwondo development fund to Mr. Kanchana Jayarathna, president of the Sri Lanka Taekwondo Federation.
Dr. Choue also honored all the taekwondo medal winner at the 2019 South Asia Games in Nepal, and taekwondo officials.
“Through taekwondo education and training, I strongly believe that you will grow up as good global citizens and I wish some of you will be champions of international taekwondo championships,” said WT President Choue.
He continued to say, “As part of its efforts to fulfill its social responsibility for the mankind, WT is going all out to help empower the powerless, such as refugees, orphans and victims of natural disasters, around the world.”
On January 24, WT President Choue met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at the National Assembly to present him with an honorary WT Dan black belt. Clad in Dobok, the Sri Lankan prime minister broke a board to receive the honorary taekwondo black belt, which was broadcast nationwide in Sri Lanka. The prime minister served as president of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015.
While in Sri Lanka, WT President Choue met with Sri Lankan Olympic Committee President Suresh Subramaniam and Prof. D. M. Samasinghe, vice chancellor of the University of Kelaniya.
Kelaniya University plans to establish a taekwondo major at its Faculty of Science in the near future and the Sri Lanka NOC plans to establish a national sport university, in which a taekwondo major will be placed.