Colorado Springs, Colo. (August 25, 2016) – USA Taekwondo has joined with the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) and United States Collegiate Taekwondo (USCT) to form a Task Force to work on a proposal to join the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women Program.
Taekwondo is working to become a part of the NCAA’s family of sports. Task Force members will combine skills to put forward a compelling case for inclusion, as well as to ensure that all conditions of the NCAA requirements are met and exceeded where possible.
Executive Director Keith Ferguson said: “We are very excited about supporting female athletes in their quest to join the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women Program. Each organization is full of talented and passionate people who, working together, give this project a real chance of success. As the National Governing Body, we are committed to supporting this project, and we will do everything we can to further the cause of taekwondo in the United States, along with our partners in this very worthwhile project.”
Mr. Ferguson has asked 1991 World Champion, USA Taekwondo Coach and 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Arlene Limas to take the primary leadership role for the Task Force.
“I personally benefited greatly from competing at the collegiate level,” said Arlene Limas. “I am hugely excited to be a part of this new initiative and if we can set a path for our young high school age athletes to compete and receive recognition while pursuing higher education that will be a big plus both for our sport and our athletes!”
Current List of Task Force Members
- Dr. Russel Ahn: NCTA President, Endowed Professor of Martial Arts, Cal State Berkley
- Phil Herring: President, United States Collegiate Taekwondo
- Blanca “Jenny” Quezada: National Champion, National Collegiate Taekwondo Champion
- Moriah Martin: National Junior Gold Medalist, Pan American University Games Bronze Medalist, Liberty University Student Athlete
- Elva Pai Adams: 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist
- Major Greg Bew: Past Taekwondo Coach, United States Military Academy
- Tim Ghormley: Taekwondo Coach, Stanford University
- Alex M Antipa: UC Davis Taekwondo Head Coach, 2016 US-NCTA Coach of the Year
- Keith Ferguson: Executive Director, USA Taekwondo
Task Force member and collegiate Taekwondo athlete Moriah Martin said: “As a college athlete and a full time student I can attest to the struggle of maintaining an international fighting status. Too many athletes do not attend college as a residential full time student because of the lack of funding and resources available to the sport. This is due to the lack of varsity status making Taekwondo a club or recreational sport. With this there comes a point where a decision has to be made between the sport and education. A collegiate athlete should not have to put their education on hold to further their goals in this sport. I hope to see Taekwondo athletes become residential college students able to experience a college life as well as pursue a Taekwondo career without hindrance.”
The Task Force will be seeking input from NCAA Presidents and Athletic Directors as it prepares the proposal which will be submitted to the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics.
For further information, contact USA Taekwondo’s Director of Communications, Steve McNally (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) recognizes USA Taekwondo as the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of Taekwondo in the United States. A primary function of the NGB is to conduct national and international events in its sport. Taekwondo made its debut as a demonstration sport at the Seoul 1988 Games, but was not officially added to the Olympic program until the Sydney 2000 Games. Since then, USA Taekwondo has earned nine Olympic medals– two gold, two silver and five bronze.