Promoting Inclusive Taekwondo for Adults and Young Parents

Adults in Madrid
Madrid 2024

 Like many other sports, the world of Taekwondo is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs and interests of its participants. This report presents the findings of a unique project that aimed to promote inclusive Taekwondo for adults and young parents in Austria. This demographic has traditionally been underrepresented in this martial art.

 The mobility initiative was made possible through the generous funding of the Erasmus Program, an EU program that supports education, training, youth, and sport in Europe. The Erasmus Program’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and promoting lifelong learning and physical activity aligns perfectly with the objectives of this project.

 The project was spearheaded by the Wien Taekwondo Centre, a leading institution in the field of Taekwondo in Austria. Ten dedicated members from the centre participated in this project, bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the sport. Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives greatly enriched the project and contributed to its success.

 In the attached report, we will delve into the project details, discussing its objectives, methodology, findings, and the lessons learned. We will also provide recommendations based on our findings to promote inclusive Taekwondo for adults and young parents in Austria and other Central and Northern European countries. This report will be a valuable resource for other institutions seeking to promote inclusivity in Taekwondo and other sports.

 Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, has gained significant popularity worldwide, including in Europe. In Austria and most central and northern European countries, Taekwondo is primarily practised by children and teenagers. The sport is often introduced to youngsters to instil discipline, improve physical fitness, and promote self-defence skills.

 In Austria, Taekwondo is governed by the Austrian Taekwondo Federation, which oversees the sport’s development, organizes competitions, and sets training standards. The federation works closely with local clubs, such as the Wien Taekwondo Centre, to promote the sport at the grassroots level. Despite these efforts, adult participation in Taekwondo remains relatively low in Austria.

 When we look at the age demographics of Taekwondo participants in Austria and other central and northern European countries, we find that approximately 75% of the participants are under 12. This trend is not unique to Taekwondo but is common across many sports, where participation tends to decrease with age due to factors such as work commitments, family responsibilities, and physical constraints.

 However, the situation is quite different in southern European countries. There is significant adult participation in Taekwondo in countries like Spain, Portugal, and France. These countries have a strong culture of recreational sports practice and amateur competitions that extend into adulthood. In these regions, Taekwondo is seen not just as a sport for the youth but as a lifelong activity contributing to overall health and well-being.

 The contrast between Taekwondo participation in northern/central and Southern Europe is stark. While the former sees a decline in participation after childhood, the latter maintains a steady level of engagement across all age groups. This difference can be attributed to various factors, including cultural attitudes toward sports, the availability of adult-friendly training programs, and societal norms around physical activity.

Full Report here: 2024 Promoting Inclusive Taekwondo for Adults and Young Parents - Final Report