A Safeguarding update from British Taekwondo.

I hope that you all had an enjoyable summer and that you managed to catch some sunshine, wherever that may have been!

I am looking forward to meeting so many of you at the Sport National Championships in Sheffield this weekend – please, if you see me do stop me and say hello.

The work that has gone into this event is amazing – from the athletes who are training week in week out, the dedicated coaches and volunteers within your club, the parents travelling the width and breadth of the UK and of course my colleagues here at British Taekwondo.

I would love for this event to be remembered for all of the right reasons….so how can you play your part as coaches?


Lets think about the Five Tenets of Taekwondo:

• Courtesy
• Integrity
• Perseverance
• Self-control
• Indomitable spirit

Instil these into your athletes, and most importantly yourselves. You are the role models. Over recent months yellow cards have been issued for misconduct of coaches for aggressive match manner. These yellow cards have resulted in suspensions issued by the CSB, ranging from 3 months to 6 months.

In one event alone, five yellow cards were issued to athletes for unsporting behaviour and misconduct in relation to not respecting the PSS equipment.

The majority of yellow cards given do not result in a ban being imposed, this only happens in exceptional circumstances, and over 90% of yellow cards are dealt with on the day. Future conduct will however be monitored at future events.

Please encourage your spectators to ‘raise the roof’ over the weekend, but remind them that we only do positive! Anyone displaying any poor behaviour will be asked to leave the venue.


We understand that Taekwondo, like most martial arts, is a weight-controlled sport which means that when athletes compete it is based on their body weight. However we do not wish to see any of the following damaging practices:

• Body fluid manipulation – limiting water intake whilst maximising sweat production through the use of sweat suits during extreme exercise bouts, and saunas resulting in dehydration
• The use of diet pills, laxatives or vomiting
• Extreme limitation of food intake

Upon arrival to the Weigh-in station, each Team must queue together as only 1 Team will be permitted to enter the Weigh-in station at any time.

Each competitor should have their Event Registration ID Card ready for inspection prior to entering the Weigh-in station.
Only competitors from the same team can enter the Weigh-in station together and must be accompanied by an Event Accredited Coach or a registered Club Welfare Officer.

If an Event Accredited Coach or a registered Club Welfare Officer is not available, then athletes aged 17 and under must weigh-in individually with a parent or guardian present.

If the athlete is not able to make the required weight for their chosen category, then they must change category (at the discretion of the OC) or withdraw from competition. Athletes wishing to change category will be required to pay an Administration Fee. Please remember, this is not a ‘penalty’ or a ‘fine’ – and refrain from using such terminology around children and parents.


I will be present throughout the entire event and I will be assisted by a wonderful team of safeguarding trained volunteers. Should you witness an incident or you have a concern, please approach a member of the team (they will be visible in purple t-shirts) or any member of British Taekwondo staff. The team member will then be able to report this to myself.

Remember – if you see it, say it!

May I take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you the very best of luck.

Sarah Howard

Safeguarding, HR & Compliance Manager