The World Youth Taekwondo Camp will be held in Seoul and Muju, North Jeolla Province in Korea on Aug. 6-11, 2009, drawing about 200 young athletes and 70 officials from about 40 countries.

The inaugural World Youth Taekwondo Camp is jointly organized by the World Taekwondo Federation and the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation, which the WTF hopes will serve as a rehearsal for the taekwondo competition of the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games.

The camp will feature a seminar on the practice of OVEP (Olympic Values Education Program) and a junior friendship competition. The participating athletes, aged between 14 and 17, will have a training session with several Beijing Olympic gold medalists – Iran’s Hadi Saei Bonekhohal, China’s Wu Jingyu, and Korea’s Hwang Kyung-seon.

Among the participating countries will be Niger, Tonga, Nigeria, Singapore, Lebanon, Timor-Leste, Israel, Morocco, Slovak, the United Arab Emirates, Belarus, and Cambodia.

Several presidents of the WTF member national associations and WTF Continental Unions, along with several IOC members, are to attend the camp.

Two athletes with a disability, who competed at the 1st WTF World Para-Taekwondo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan on June 10, 2009, are also invited to the camp. They are Gersson Josue Majia Alvarez from Guatemala and Iran’s Mehdi Pour Rannama.

“The camp is part of the WTF Solidarity program in line with the IOC’s inauguration of the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games. The camp will provide the young participants with high-level taekwondo training, education of Olympic values and taekwondo spirit, and a chance for friendship competition under the same weight categories as those of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue.

Dr. Choue said, “Following the IOC’s OVEP initiative, the WTF will continue to raise awareness of the Olympic values and to integrate such awareness in WTF activities and educational programs. We will continue to find new initiatives for OVEP to reach as many young people as possible around the world.”

Under the topic “How to Practice Olympic Values through Taekwondo,” a seminar on OVEP will open the camp at the Olympic Parkel in Seoul on Aug. 6.

On Aug. 7, WTF President Choue will make a special lecture on “the Propagation of Olympic Spirit through Taekwondo” for the camp participants at the Yeche Cultural Center in Muju. The special lecture will be followed by an introduction of OVEP by Dr. Ju-ho Jang, chairman of the Korean Olympic Academy.

On Aug. 8, young athletes will have a time with Olympic medalists in Muju. A junior friendship competition is scheduled for Aug. 9 at the Bandibul Gymnasium in Muju.

Prior to the opening of the camp, about 10 countries have already sent their athletes for intensive training at Korean universities. A 10-member taekwondo team from Uzbekistan arrived in Korea on July 22, 2009 to receive intensive taekwondo training at a Korean university in Busan.

On July 20, a 21-member Russian taekwondo delegation arrived in Seoul for the team’s intensive training in Jeonju. On the same day, 11 athletes from Kazakhstan also arrived in Korea to undergo intensive training in Busan. Jordan, Morocco and Laos are also undergoing intensive training.