The Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF) in its bid to develop the sport, officially opened the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) funded Development of National Sports System (DNSS) programs on Monday, at the Korea Sports Complex in Tema.

The GTF would for the next three months organize three development courses/Seminars, beginning with the 2nd National Referees Licence Course, Administrators Seminar and 2nd National Coaching Licence Course at the Korea Sports Complex.

The residential programs which has started with the 5-day Referee Licence course for 40, continues with the Administrators Seminar for 20 participants across the country from 11- 15 and a 10-day Coaching Course slated for April 3 -12.

The President of the GTF, Frederick Lartey Otu, expressed appreciation to IOC, World Taekwondo Peace Corps, and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and stressed on the need for local assistance from the Sports Authority and Cooperate bodies.

He also outlined the importance of the DNSS program stating that, taekwondo was becoming a household name with high enthusiasm in athletes.

“We want to bring up to standard, taekwondo officiating in order to give more quality to our tournaments and reduce incidents of bad officiating.

“We would also train 20 Administrators and secretaries in sports management, events planning and others to help in the development of the sport; training and licensing 40 coaches from the ten member regions to help these coaches to establish new taekwondo clubs in their localities and train more athletes.”

Papa Asante representing the Director General (DG) of the National Sports Authority, Prof. Peter Twumasi, in his speech outlined the vision of the New DG and the renewal of the NSA mandate of supporting Sporting Federations.

In attendance was the Ambassador for the Republic of Korea, Kim Sungsoo, who pledged his continuous support to the GTF, to promote and develop the sport in Ghana.

Mr. Richard Akpokavie, Secretary General of the Ghana Olympic Committee, who officially opened the DNSS program, acknowledged the effectiveness of the GTF.

“We as GOC helped the Federations to achieve their objectives in various ways. One of the ways is to seek support through Olympic Solidarity to run courses like this. It is important because, for every country, the IOC can only sponsor one sport per year for this particular course.

There are over 28 Olympic sports in Ghana and Taekwondo was chosen because of what you have done in this country, under the able leadership of your president.

For those of you who are here for this course. It is very important to remember, that you have not been invited to just be participants, but to learn and impart this knowledge as referees, coaches and administrators.”

Also in attendance at the Opening Ceremony were Theophilus Edzie of Ghana Swimming Association, Charles Osei Asibey of Ghana Armwrestling Federation and the 1st Vice of GOC, Paul Atchoe.

In a related development, the GTF won three medals (2 silver and 2 bronze) at the just ended 1st Nigeria Taekwondo International Open championships in Abuja.

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