House to review safety measures on taekwondo after sparring incident

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

April 3, 2024, 6:56 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – Lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Wednesday called for a congressional inquiry into the incident involving a young taekwondo practitioner who suffered injuries during a sparring session against a bigger and more experienced opponent.

In filing House Resolution 1670, House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo said the circumstances surrounding this incident raise serious concerns about the safety protocols, supervision, and regulations within the taekwondo community, particularly regarding the appropriateness of match-ups between practitioners of different skill levels during training sessions.

Other authors include ACT-CIS Party-list Representatives Edvic Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo, Benguet Rep. Eric Go Yap, and Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo.

The lawmakers were pertaining to media reports that a 17-year-old female yellow-belt taekwondo athlete suffered multiple injuries after her coach allegedly set her up to spar with a taller and heavier male black belter at the Jesus is Lord Colleges Foundation, Inc. in Bocaue, Bulacan.

"The safety and well-being of athletes, especially minors, should be paramount in any sporting activity, and coaches and trainers have a duty of care to ensure that training sessions are conducted in a manner that minimizes risks of injury or harm,” they said.

They said the investigation will determine which agency is authorized to oversee the training sessions not only in taekwondo but also in other sports.

“Lalo na ngayon, maraming summer classes sa iba’t ibang klaseng sports, hindi lang sa taekwondo, pero maging sa basketball, swimming, football, tennis, at iba pa (Especially now, there are several summer classes for different sports, not just taekwondo, but also basketball, swimming, football, and tennis, among others)," they said.

The congressional investigation will also provide an opportunity to review and evaluate existing regulations, practices, and standards within the taekwondo community, to identify gaps or deficiencies that may require legislative intervention to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, they noted.

“It is imperative to ensure accountability and transparency in the sports sector, particularly in matters concerning the safety and welfare of athletes, coaches, and stakeholders involved in sports development and promotion,” they said. (PNA)