Tue, 25 Jan 2000

TI to set up Tae Kwon Do foundation to boost sport

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Tae kwon do Association (TI) will launch a Tae kwon do foundation in February to help develop the sport in Indonesia, TI chairman Suharto said.

Suharto said the foundation, which was jointly set up by TI and a group of South Korean nationals who were doing business in Indonesia, would help raise funds to stage championships and to finance Indonesian tae kwon doins taking part in overseas training and competitions.

"The foundation will manage everything concerning the development of tae kwon do in Indonesia. It will comprise members of TI and the South Korean community on both its board and executive council.

"It will also have an independent supervisory council to oversee the work of its members," Suharto said after a meeting with TI's members here on Monday.

He said that the foundation was a nonprofit one and would not deal with commercial affairs.

He said the establishment of the foundation was part of a deal with South Korean businesspeople who wanted to popularize their country's national sport.

"They are proud of their traditional sport. The leaders of the South Korean community in Indonesia wanted to help popularize the sport here. But they only wanted to funnel their money through a social foundation that could provide transparent public accountability," he said.

The two-star marine general, who is also the inspector general at the defense ministry, said that TI would stage the second LG Cup National Tae Kwon Do championships in November and the Junior Open in July, both to take place here.

"There will be 204 South Korean elementary students who will come here to demonstrate the sport, together with our tae kwon doins in the Junior Open," he said.

He also said that Indonesia would host the Southeast Asian Tae Kwon Do Union Championships in October. The championships were originally scheduled for 1997 but later delayed after five Southeast Asian countries retired due to economy crisis," he said.

The national tae kwon doins would also attend the Asian Championships in Hong Kong, he said without mentioning the date.


Suharto also expressed optimism that national women's tae kwon doin Juana Wangsa Putri could earn a medal in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

"It's very difficult to win a gold medal and Juana will face tough challenges from tae kwon doins from Belgium, the United States and Cuba. But I'm optimistic that Juana will earn a medal. Hopefully, she can get bronze," he said.

He also doubted that men's tae kwon doin Satrio Rahardani would get a wild card to compete in the Olympics. "There are only four wild cards offered and they are prioritized to the countries whose athletes failed to qualify for the Olympics."

Juana, who competes in the flyweight division, will leave for a five-month overseas stint before performing in Sydney in September. She will be accompanied by Satrio and his younger sister Rahadewi Neta.

The three tae kwon doins will compete in the U.S. Open in Honolulu, Hawaii, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 6, the Dutch Open in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from March 10 to March 12, the Belgian Open in Brussels on April 1 and April 2 and the Korean Open in June.(ivy)